Trendsetters To Trendsetters Magazine Jan Feb 2014

Page 28


Eric Sheppard Jr. Full Time College Student/Coach/Community Leader

A Young Man with a Plan for Socioeconomic Change By Keyla Berry

ight, in many cases can serve as a beacon of hope because without it we cannot see a clear pathway to guide us into the future. In this case, the “light” I speak of is Eric Sheppard Jr., a 20 year old native Atlantan who is maturely independent and a straight A student at Valdosta State University in South Georgia. Shining brightly amongst his peers, Eric who is enrolled in one of the University’s Bachelor degree programs with a dual major in Sociology & African American Studies and dual minors in Philosophy & Economics, says his life goal is to bring all people together through the implementation of self -education methods with emphasis on self-knowledge. Passionate about his community role, Eric spends quite a bit of his spare time coaching high school wrestling and mentoring youths in Valdosta, he endeavors to start his own family therapy practice and to open recreational learning centers in socioeconomic impoverished communities. When asked what the motivation in his drive for success is, Eric replied;

28 JAN / FEB 2014

“Simply, the knowledge that one day there will be a global unification of all things. If success is defined as academic achievement in this case, then besides any motivation to attain such, my performance is a reflection of my obligation to do what is needed because to accomplish any less in this kind of schooling system would be shameful.” Eric’s advice to other young men and women entering college and leaving home for the first time is “Be not naïve and complacent in the definition of life. What is often prescribed is not always the truth; question everything until you have found what it is you search for. Educate yourself outside of the classroom and allow your consciousness to be ever expansive.” When looking towards the future, previous generations can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that young adults such as Eric, with ambition, drive, and the mental fortitude have the skills to take the reins of positive leadership. ■


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