Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

I was serving as a track coach at my school last year, when I realized that one of my athletes, Rashad, was homeless and living in and out of motels with his family. Working with Rashad and his family has given me inspiration and clarity on what my life’s purpose and legacy are to be. My objective is to create an innovative program that serves as a catalyst to decrease dropout rates, disrupt the school to prison pipeline, and reduce the recurrence of generational poverty by reducing the number of students who drop out. In other words, giving hope, guidance, and a clear path forward to students like Rashad. Unfortunately, I have witnessed students as young as nine years old, who have expressed that they are waiting to turn sixteen so they can drop out. If children are born curious and longing to learn about the world around them, what are we doing that is making them want to run away from the place that is supposed to feed that curiosity and fulfill that longing?
I will use the knowledge and experience I gain from my doctoral degree program to create a program that provides life-changing experiences to the coming generations of learners like Rashad, who are most at-risk for not completing their education. Graduate studies are necessary to my goals and will provide me with the opportunity to increase my understanding and insight, as well as my audience, my network, and my influence. Earning a doctorate degree will give me a chance to influence the outlook of education in the future and prepare me to be a better educational pioneer and community leader.

Hediyah from Georgia
American College of Education