It quickly became clear to me that scholarships were my only option for getting to college. Full scholarships. I wasn't really interested in staying in Ohio so I was staring at out-of-state tuition costs and even some private schools. My sophomore year I received my first letter from a college athletic program and it quickly became clear that I would at least have the option of going to college somewhere to play sports.
After being recruited by a couple ACC and MAC schools for football and several D-1 and D-2 schools for basketball, I ultimately decided to play basketball at Dartmouth. Unfortunately, the assistant coach that really went to bat for me took another job the summer before my Freshmen year and I didn't find out until I got to campus that I was considered a preferred walk-on and wasn't actually on the basketball team at all. I read the writings on the wall and was fortunate enough to be able to walk-on the Dartmouth football team instead.
Following my freshmen season, I was on winter break driving when I hit black ice and eventually slammed into a tree totaling my grandfather's truck. My last vertebrae before my pelvis had two fractures in it but that would go undiagnosed for another 14 months. During that time, I played football. Going into my sophomore spring ball I went back for a checkup where a second opinion confirmed that my back had been broken for over a year. My athletic career was over.
Being a nonner (non-athlete) actually allowed me to tap back into other campus activities that I didn't have time for before like NAACP and Student Athlete Advisory Council while still helping out the football team where possible off the field. It also allowed me to travel to Majuro, Republic of the Marshall Islands for ten weeks to participate in the Dartmouth Volunteer teaching program.
I ultimately graduated from Dartmouth with honors in English focused on creative writing and was elected a Senior Class Marshal for commencement. I currently serve as the Intern Chair and Black Alumni of Dartmouth (BADA) representative on the board of the Dartmouth Club of Los Angeles.