Put me in Coach; I am ready to inspire!
Walking off the court (graduation stage), I stared at the numbers frozen on the scoreboard: Caleb 1, The World 89. I did it; I won the game! Despite the numbers not being in my favor, it was still a win in my book. I joined 11% of my community that has graduated with a high school diploma. I could have thrown in the towel there, and ended my career. However, my family, teachers, mentors, and I knew I had more in me to keep going.
After much consideration, I took my talents to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) as a 5 Strong Scholar. I was hesitant to move away from my family, but it is hard to turn down a full academic scholarship and AAMU's family-oriented environment. Attending a historically black college and university (HBCU) opened my eyes to the diverse cultures, viewpoints, and opinions that other people who look like me bring to the table.
"A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life."
After completing my first year at AAMU, I knew it was time for a change. I was a torch with the potential to ignite the world, and the youth was (and still is) the oil that gave fuel to my passion and confidence. I joined the C5 Georgia Youth Foundation, as a counselor, "inspiring high potential youth from risk-filled environments." Joining C5 was the official start of my new journey: serving my younger brothers and sisters. Since joining the Prep@Collegiate family, I have been able to share my experiences with some fantastic students. I am leaving Baltimore with a few more pounds added to my luggage. The boys have added to my definition of what it means to have courage, integrity, wisdom, compassion, and resilience. The boys challenged me daily to be my best self, as I assist them in developing into the young kings they are destined to be. The fee for these extra pounds is one I am willing to pay.
—Caleb Franklin :: Atlanta, GA