Roderick left high school in the Roseland neighborhood his junior year – in 1999 – and started to work mainly factory and custodial jobs. He thought more and more about finishing his education, and finally signed up to get his high school diploma online. Once he received it, he felt like he had accomplished one academic goal and wasn’t quite ready to go on to the next.

He continued to work, putting his diploma on a shelf, and while he didn’t forget about it, he didn’t use it yet. That is until December of 2017 when he decided to sign up for college classes. He was told that the diploma he had worked so hard for was not from an accredited institution, and therefore not valid. The admissions office suggested he get his GED.

Determined to move on with his education, in January of 2018, Roderick signed up for GED prep classes at Olive-Harvey College, because it was close to home. Cheered on by his family, Roderick continued to work while he studied. On May 14, 2018, Roderick earned his GED.

Now that he has momentum, he is staying on at Olive-Harvey and transitioning to credit classes through the Gateway Program. After earning his associate degree, he plans to continue his education and eventually become either a substance abuse counselor or a youth counselor, guiding others on their own paths to fulfill their goals.

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