I ended up going to Florida State University after I got my acceptance letter in the mail and I paid for it without a single loan. All scholarships, grants, and work-study plus jobs on campus and my part-time work with my floral business on the weekends in Tampa Bay mainly on 40th Street and Hillsborough in front of Salem’s Gyros and Subs and IGA Super Market. One of the best things I ended up doing while at FSU was studying abroad in Jamaica. Awesome! I learned about the culture and how to “lime” lol. A definite highlight of my FSU education. I also had my first brush with the law being locked-up and charged with a felony for the first time. Thank God it was reduced to a misdemeanor and I skated with little penalty. Special thanks to Jim Wilson and his friend. I am still grateful for them. The major blow would come later.
I was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa to study abroad again for an entire semester. But because of my legal situation I couldn’t get approval to leave the country in time to cash in on this great once in a life time, much desired, still desired opportunity unfortunately. Nevertheless, I graduated on time with my B.S. in Management of Information Systems from the College of Business and a minor in Computer Science. After completing about 100 job applications and 20 interviews I landed my first full-time salary position as an Assistant Manager with a major retailer in Dunwoody, GA and moved to Atlanta. Yup, I made it from the "Projects" to Corporate America, officially. My Dad, family and friends were very proud. However, that gig didn't last long at all. I invested some of my earnings into Atlanta Bartending School and became a certified Mixologist.
The plan was to bartend so I could pay my bills while I was on the hunt for my next salary position. But it never happened that way. I ended up scrambling for work in hospitality serving (a field I love actually because it fits my outgoing personality perfectly and even though people don’t recognize it as a M.I.S. occupation it really is). My Mom, bless her heart, always told me “What I can’t teach you, life will.” And Life was about to sign me up for a nice rigorous course of incarceration in the Georgia Department of Corrections following a 901 Rice Street Jail prerequisite. Listen to the Royal Album to find out why. Man, how did I do in that class? I passed. I made it out after almost 5 years behind the fence or “up the road” as some call it. It was every bit of horrifying as any first-timer in the “pen” could imagine. But by the grace of God through the power of The Holy Spirit I became born again and ever so grateful of all the little details in life that we normally take for granted. That was the birthplace of the Light Musick Movement.
For with God nothing shall be impossible.
LUKE 1:37 K.J.V.
Read Part 3: From the Hood to Corporate America and Back