As we rev up for the 19th Annual Youth Leadership Awards in June, it’s time to catch up with youth who have won in previous years.
Though Terrance won the prestigious John E. Rooney Dynamic Scholarship Award just last year, he hasn’t wasted a minute making a name for himself.
Terrance is completing his first year at Michigan State University, where he plans to study nursing.
“Freshman year has been going so fast! It’s almost over – two months,” he says. Right now, he’s taking general education classes until he applies for MSU’s Nursing School next year.
“I’m getting the whole college experience: living on campus, living without your parents, meeting new people, taking hard courses,” he explains. But if studying wasn’t enough, he’s also balancing work, social life and clubs – all while trying to get a full night’s sleep.
“I’m volunteering at the hospital, getting exposure to the emergency room, learning a lot of things, checking on patients, and I’m also working at the Breslin Student Center, so I get to have a little fun watching the games.”
But he’s also made time to make some friends in other programs. “People always tell me, “Terrance, you know everybody.’ I joined a lot of clubs. I’m in the microbiology club. I’m in a Zumba class. I’m affiliated with the gospel choir. I go to basketball games and hockey games. It’s so much fun. I have a lot of school pride. I’ve been to a play, ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ It was actually really good, really different.”
Terrance also has been enjoying dorm life, including the food, though he warns the “freshman fifteen” is a real thing. “I room with somebody on the basketball team, which is really good. We talk, we push each other, we have some of the same classes,” he says. “The dorm life is really good. We have movie nights and study sessions. I get to meet new people on our floor. I love the dorm life.”
Terrance plans to come back to Chicago for the summer to stay with his family, but he doesn’t plan on slowing down. “I’m coming back for the summer. I might take some classes at UIC and work at my old job at Jewel Osco. I’ll go back to Rush (University Medical Center) to volunteer, maybe try to get an internship in the health field or study aboard – anything to help me get into nursing school.”
Looking forward, he already has a plan for his future. “I think I want to work in the Intensive Care Unit or a cardiology department. There are a lot of different options. I want to get my (bachelor’s degree in nursing) at Michigan, maybe work a few years, then go back and get my master’s and become a nurse practitioner. Right now I’m just trying to get more experience in health care. I’m planning on become a certified phlebotomist; those are the people that draw blood.”
He recalls this time last year when he was interviewing for the Youth Leadership Awards and offered some advice to youth who are currently going through the interview process. “To the youth applying for YLA now: be involved in your community,” he advises. “Obviously keep your grades up, but look at how you are affecting the community and what you are doing for others.”
Terrance was a member of Project Visible Man at UCAN for seven years – since fifth grade.
“Just in general, when I was in PVM, the skills they gave me, time management, meeting different people, navigating new people, has been really helpful. Having that support, just knowing I can text you guys if I need something, it always makes me want to come back just to be around you guys. It’s such a great atmosphere and the support system is really there. I can depend on UCAN.”
To meet Terrance, join us for the 19th Annual Youth Leadership Awards on June 7th at the Four Seasons.