In 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 Office of Florida State Representative Mack Bernard. In 2012, I graduated PBAU with a B.A. 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.
In 2013, Marquette University’s 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, FL, I was then accepted into their Sports Administration MBA program. In Fall 2014, I earned the CALI Award for Sports Law. In September 2015, the Miami HEAT offered me an internship in their Business Communications Department. I accepted. I long to work there again someday.
In December 2015, the Obama Administration offered me an internship. I accepted their offer, and then went on to work in the Executive Office of the President for five months to start 2016. That experience changed my life. In 2016, Cornell Law School accepted my application to study in their Paris Summer Institute–for the second summer in a row. They look forward to my third semester in June/July 2017. My planned graduation date is May 2018 with a J.D./M.S. in Sports Administration.
In the meantime, I mounted a third (and final) campaign for Student Bar Association President. I wanted to bring real change to the way we governed ourselves. I had an ambitious–though conscientious–platform that involved student empowerment, student-involved bar preparation, and a student government that did away with the elitist cliques of years past and returned power to the students. But the voters had other ideas. After much controversy involving defamatory statements made about me and further childish mocking directed my way by those responsible for administering the election, I lost. The students said no, whether they realized it or not.
But I took the loss in stride. Beginning in August, I will be President of the STU Public Interest Law Society. It will be an on-campus leadership post I will not take lightly, and I am excited about what the future will bring. We will make ourselves known to the student body, and I will continue to put them first, whether my enemies want me to or not. One door closed and another one opened. Next season will be fantastic, and I will have my executive board to thank for that.
I then plan to pursue my LL.M. degree in Entertainment, Sports, and Arts Law at the University of Miami, if they will have me, and graduate in May 2019. I will then take the bar that summer, turn 29 years old, and hopefully pass on the first try, becoming a fully-credentialed attorney with White House, professional sports, and international experience before I’m 30 years old. Lord knows what’s next afterwards.
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. Imagine that for a moment.
Don’t EVER let someone’s “no” stop you from achieving the things you want to achieve.