The path to where I am today was bumpy. At 10, the second youngest of five siblings, I was separated from my biological family and placed in foster care. I lacked direction and a sense of purpose. Eventually, I realized I could either dwell on life’s obstacles or dig deeper to overcome them. I chose to believe in myself.
Now, I have an accomplished record of military service; five postsecondary degrees from American Military University, all earned with honors; and a successful career. I hope my story encourages you to push past the obstacles and find your shot at success after the military.
My early childhood began in Cleveland, where I was born and raised. After I was adopted out of foster care, I attended school and worked minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet. But I wanted more out of life.
Service in the military gave me a way to gain and apply new skills. After graduating high school in 2008, I joined the Army National Guard as an automated logistical specialist at the rank of E-1. I chose Supply Chain and Logistics Management as my military occupational specialty. These are skills I leveraged to help get into the role I have now at Uber Freight. If you’re interested in Uber Freight, you can check out some of the open roles here: https://rly.pt/3sN58LF
Attached to a unit in Medina, Ohio, I gradually worked my way up to E-5. In 2011, I deployed to Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). After I finished my one-year tour of duty, I volunteered to stay in Afghanistan for two more years, working as a civilian contractor.
During my time there, I served in the security forces. However, I developed a skill and a passion for logistics. I could see the path forward, and little stood in my way.
Back stateside in 2014, I relocated to Little Rock, Arkansas, and worked at Welspun Tubular, a multibillion-dollar pipefitting firm. I was first hired as logistics coordinator and later promoted to logistics supervisor. I continued to serve in the guard until 2016.
My military experiences inspired me to want to learn more. I enrolled in American Military University in 2015, using my GI Bill benefits to pay for what became a six-year journey to advance my higher education. From AMU, I earned the following degrees:
• An associate degree in Counter-Terrorism Studies: https://rly.pt/3TVIZqw
• An associate degree in Weapons of Mass Destruction Preparedness: https://rly.pt/3U8PV3N
• A bachelor’s degree in Transportation and Logistics Management: https://rly.pt/3Uopl6n
• A bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security: https://rly.pt/3FNkPdK
• A master’s degree in Business Administration: https://rly.pt/3Vl42DZ
My educational achievements culminated in my earning a nearly perfect grade point average in my master’s program, receiving AMU’s 2022 Graduate Student Speaker and Academic Scholar awards, and being invited to speak during our June 2022 commencement.
Each program of study opened new opportunities to advance in my career. I fielded several job offers aligned with my studies. I was recently hired at Uber Freight as a freight broker. I quickly demonstrated exceptional logistics capabilities and, within a few months with the company, received my own accounts to manage.
I also took an interest in how logistics can be used to improve the transportation system on the Arkansas River. I joined the board of the Arkansas Waterway Association (AWA), on which I served for three years. Last year, I was appointed association president.
It’s a cliché but a true way to describe my military, education and career trajectory: I took life’s lemons and made lemonade. I stumbled at times in getting the ingredients right, but eventually found the correct mixture.
Tennis great Venus Williams once said, “Just believe in yourself. Even if you don’t, pretend that you do, and at some point, you will.” Believe in yourself, discover what you’re capable of and watch the barriers fall away. That’s when you’ll see your shot and take it.
Search job openings at Uber Freight: https://rly.pt/3sN58LF
Search job openings at Welspun Tubular: https://rly.pt/3h6lDjn
GI Bill info: https://rly.pt/33XCwCM
See my educational pathways:
• Counter Terrorism Studies, associate degree: https://rly.pt/3TVIZqw
• Transportation and Logistics Management, bachelor’s degree: https://rly.pt/3Uopl6n
• Weapons of Mass Destruction Preparedness, associate degree: https://rly.pt/3U8PV3N
• Homeland Security, bachelor’s degree: https://rly.pt/3FNkPdK
• Business Administration, master’s degree: https://rly.pt/3Vl42DZ