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Derris Orange

BS Justice Studies - Policing & Law Enforcement

"I will be a model and mentor who shows the inner-city kids that you can accomplish any goal you want to achieve."

I have been motivated to start college for many reasons. I have found not having a college degree has hindered my career path. Although I'm well qualified, I have not been hired for jobs even though I had more experience than other candidates. Those individuals have more advantages in the job market simply because of their college degrees. For many years, I have been told that you will make more money over the course of your life if you have a college degree than if you are only a high school graduate. In addition, I grew up in the inner city of Los Angeles. The most common stereotype in my community is that the only way to college is through sports, but no one ever emphasized education. With that being said, I find myself at twenty-eight years old with no NFL dreams and living paycheck to paycheck. Furthermore, when I am coaching high school football, I always push my students to be the best student-athletes. I encourage all of my students to attend college, even if sports are not the way. I do not want to be a hypocrite, so I decided to go back to college and pursue my degree in criminal justice. With my degree in criminal justice, I will pursue a career in law enforcement. I will focus my career on working in the juvenile probation system. I will use my story to encourage inner-city youth to pursue a college degree. This will prove that you can make it out of the inner city, not just through sports, but also with diligence and persistence. Therefore, I will be a model and mentor who shows the inner-city kids that you can accomplish any goal you want to achieve.