Dream Chasers, Keep Chasing!
After watching numerous football games on Saturday, and playing NCAA Football, I decided early on, “I want to play football for the team in red.” As I grew older, I realized “the team in red” was The Ohio State University, and that was the school I wanted to attend. Following a number of growth deficiencies, I accepted football to not be in my future, but Ohio State was still a reputable school, one in which I still had plans to enroll. No one understood how this kid from Harlem heard about Ohio State, let alone how he was so set on attending the university.
Most times, when I would share my desire to attend Ohio State, I would often get a chuckle and a “yeah okay, we will see”. Most people did not doubt my capabilities as a student but did not believe I would leave New York for the Midwest. Others believed this fascination would eventually fade away, and I would attend college elsewhere. Despite their beliefs, no one ever told me my dream was not feasible, and tried talking me out of it. This stood true until I talked with my college counselor in my senior year.
“LeRoy, it’s nice you want to attend there, but you won’t get in there, and if you do, it will be too costly for you to attend.” I could not ration why she believed such thoughts, let alone try to deter me from attending my dream school. I was second in my class, and had performed relatively well on both my ACT and SAT. I had met with the regional admissions manager in New York, and he said he liked my chances to get accepted and was impressed with my passion for the school. Why would I not chase my dream? After hearing her feedback, I channeled my energy to produce the best application I thought possible. I was not going to let her suggestions turn me away from applying and giving myself the chance to get accepted.
January 17, 2014 I was accepted into my dream school. At the time, my principal was a Buckeye alum, and I remember emailing her informing her of my acceptance and hoped she would share the news to the entire school. On January 30, I was selected to receive the Morrill Scholarship Program Prominence Scholarship, a scholarship worth the value of in-state tuition for out of state students. This scholarship automatically put me in consideration for the Distinction Scholarship, a full-ride scholarship at the university. On April 11, I received notification that I was selected for Distinction, and could attend my dream school for free.
I share this story, as humbly as I can, to inform students to set a dream, and work as hard as you can to achieve it. There will be people along the way who try to deter you, and in pursuit, the dream might take a few detours, but sticking to it, you can turn dreams into reality. My favorite poem is “The Man Who Thinks He Can”, and in that it says, “success begins with a fellow’s will, its all in the state of mind.” Believe in yourself more than anyone else can believe in you. Chase your dreams, follow your passions, and make it happen!
LeRoy was born and raised in New York, New York, where he graduated from Harlem Village Academy High School in 2014. After graduation, LeRoy enrolled at The Ohio State University, the school of his dreams since a young boy. Working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, LeRoy became involved in a number of organizations during his time on campus which helped develop him inside and out of the classroom. After graduating in 2018, LeRoy decided to continue his education, again at Ohio State, enrolling in the Moritz College of Law. He is expected to graduate in 2021.
LeRoy Educational History:
2014 - HS Graduate, Harlem Village Academy High School
2018 - BA in criminology, The Ohio State University
In progress - Doctorate of Law (J.D.), The Ohio State University
Connect with LeRoy:
LeRoy Ricksy (LinkedIn)