In Spring 2008, when I was still a seventeen-year old West Boca Raton Community High School student, the University of Central Florida rejected my college application. In 2010, during the beginning of my junior year at Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBAU), I became an Executive Intern at the District 84 Office of Florida State Representative Mack Bernard. In 2012, I graduated PBAU with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Communications, after which I began working for the newly-elected State Representative Bobby Powell as his Junior District Secretary, serving House District 88.
In 2013, Marquette University Law School waitlisted me, along with North Carolina and a few other institutions. In May 2014, after completing my first full year at St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens, Florida, I was then accepted into their Sports Administration M.B.A. program. In Fall 2014, I earned the CALI Award for Sports Law a distinction given to the highest-performing student in a particular class. In September 2015, the Miami HEAT offered me an internship in their Business Communications Department. I accepted, and began working with the team on TIPOFF Magazine, even writing articles from time to time. I long to work there again.
In December 2015, I was invited to join the White House Internship Program under President Barack Obama. I happily accepted, and went on to work in the Executive Office of the President, serving my country in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Without question, that experience changed my life. Midway through 2016, Cornell Law School accepted my application to study in their Paris Summer Institute–for the second summer in a row. A third Paris semester would come in 2017, and I am forever indebted to that program for the opportunities it gave me to grow. Paris changed the trajectory of my life.
In August 2017, I became President of the Public Interest Law Society. I was excited for what we could make happen. Despite some roadblocks, we were able to hold another voter registration drive, loan repayment seminar, and leave the following administration with a healthy budget, the largest of its kind for a student organization. To quote now-State Senator Powell, "a life of service is a life that counts." We hope to have left a blueprint for that brand of service.
My planned graduation date is May 2018 with a J.D./M.S. in Sports Administration, and as of right now, I'm definitely counting the days until I walk across that stage and collect my diploma. I then plan to pursue my LL.M. degree and complete my academic career once and for all. By this point, I will have become a fully-credentialed attorney with White House, professional sports, and international experience before I’m 30 years old. God works in mysterious ways.
Do you want to know the funniest thing? It all started with someone at the University of Central Florida rejecting my college application. It all started with someone saying NO to my ambition. It all started with someone thinking I wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t the first time, and it certainly will not be the last. After all, that's life. Imagine that for a moment. One event changed my story forever, and--though I didn't know it at the time--certainly did it for the better. The future is bright.
It was this collective experience that showed me that, more than anything, we are in this together. It was what showed me that we all have a duty to make this world a better place than the one we were born into. It was what made me develop a vision for my community--and the world we all share as one.
So I sat down, grabbed a pen and paper, and developed my vision.