Individual Skill Development and Enhancement
I was born in Detroit, Michigan, and lived there until I was 19 years old. When I was 17 years old, I graduated high school and moved out on my own. At a young age, I was exposed to gang violence and drugs in Detroit’s inner city. During my childhood, I was raised by a single mother who tried her best not to expose me to the streets. Because it was all I had known, I got involved with gangs and participated in gang violence. The life I was living wasn’t the one I wanted, and I felt out of place in it. My life had a bigger purpose than the streets offered me, so I gave my life up to Christ for the better.
Down the street from my house, there was a Salvation Army church. I used to go there only to play basketball, but little did I know that place would change my life. The church started talking to me about summer camp and how it would benefit me. I was hesitant because I didn’t want to leave. I gave it a shot, and I started going to summer camps, and that’s where I gave my life up for the better. Taking myself out of my toxic environment helped me see my life had a bigger purpose. I began to see there was so much more out there for me. After high school, I worked at the same camp that helped me grow for about two years.
After the camp, I had no idea what I would do, but I knew I didn’t want to go back home to Detroit. A man who mentored me at summer camp took me in like I was his son. I lived with him for a few years until I could get myself together and settle in the twin cities. I worked for a Verizon retailer for a few months, became a manager immediately, and was doing well with sales. I hustled to the top and was offered a job as a Field Sales Manager with Samsung. Cellular became old after a while of working, and I didn’t see myself wanting to sell phones for the rest of my life. I wanted to pursue a dream of mine as a kid: to be a firefighter.
Growing up as a kid, I constantly saw the Detroit firefighters busting their butt to save our city. The city was progressively burning and falling apart. Gunshots going off every night in the cities. These guys were putting their lives on the line to save the people and the community. They inspired me and my uncle, who served the country as a marine for two decades. I remember telling him I needed a better purpose in my life and couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do. He inspired my childhood dream to come true. I joined my local fire department to get my feet wet and see if I was fit for the job. I instantly fell in love with it and knew it was something I could do for the rest of my life.
I was hungry and passionate. My goal was to push myself and become a valuable full-time Firefighter. To become a career fireman, I had to obtain my EMT license at least. I also went to school for my EMT and fell in love with the emergency medicine side of things. I wanted to improve my EMT skills and knowledge, so I went to school and obtained my Advanced EMT license and then my Paramedic license. Now I’m certified as Firefighter and Paramedic. I received my Associate’s Degree in Applied Science as Paramedic Technician, and I’m certified as Fire 1/Hazmat Ops and Fire 2 through Northwoods Technical College, formerly known as WITC. I worked on Eau Claire Fire as a Fire Medic for about two years, and now I serve as a Fire Medic for the City of Bloomington in Minnesota.
Right now, I reside in Rice Lake. I have a beautiful wife and beautiful daughters who look up to me. My goal is to continue giving them a better life and inspiring them to chase their dreams. My life changed because I had a few people inspire and mentor me. If not for those people, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. I am passionate about helping others and telling my story. I’m hoping it can inspire other little boys who struggled to find themselves to hustle and chase their dreams.