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  • D.E.B.S. Foundation

Fearless and Ready for the World


By Kelsey Jay

You spend your whole life creating scenarios of how important parts of your life will turn out. Unfortunately, those days never turn out as planned. The past five years I have worked hard to get to this very moment and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I look back on life and I have no regrets of my decisions. Of course, I could’ve studied more, been a part of more organizations or even made more friends but I think I did just fine.

This semester I got to intern for the City of Orlando and even at a local live events company, CYBIS Communications. The amount of experience I’ve gained through these professional opportunities have given me the guidance that I’ve been looking forward to as I build my future. During my last semester I had the opportunity of joining 12 other men in being members of the University of Central Florida’s chartering class of Progressive Black Men Inc. From that experience I’ve gained a new family of brothers and sister from our partnering organization, Sistuhs Inc. As a result, I’ve become a mentor to a few men pursuing college degrees. Taking on a responsibility like that keeps me level headed and assures me that I must make logical decisions in my life before giving advice to others. The experience as a whole this semester has been completely humbling and my growth these last few months has been remarkable to pass on to other people.

At this point in my life I am learning how the world works for a black man reaching for his dreams. I’m not scared. I always get asked about my fears when it comes to graduating college, but I know that I will land on my feet because everyone and everything up until this point has been preparing me for both the good and bad. You never recognize how hard you work until you reach your next opportunity and you get the chance to reflect. Graduating college is…completely worth it. Graduation day was one for the history books and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

This past semester has been the most emotional semester I’ve ever had, but I walk away from this part of my life understanding that I learned as much as I could from the people who mentored me. The most valuable thing I learned from this journey is that I will always be stronger as I ever believe I will be – mentally, physically and emotionally. I’m just glad that I didn’t give up.

My advice to every college student on this journey:

Find the joy! Aside from all the classes, studying, interning or whatever you may have on your schedule please put something aside for yourself. Do something you’ve always wanted to do, something liberating because it helps. Remember, no dream is too big to reach for.

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