I first met Alex Pettiford when he was in Kindergarten.  I remember him running up and down the halls and having a lot of energy!  Alex is a native Washingtonian, sports fanatic and a self-proclaimed comedian.  Currently, Alex is a freshman at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and plays rugby.  I’m pleased to know the running of the halls was put to good use! 

Alex inspires me as he has worked very hard to get to where he is now and acknowledges those who supported him.  Here is a snapshot of his story:

Tell us about yourself.

My grandmother raised me until I was seven years old when I moved in with my father.  When I was younger I had anger issues and it was a huge concern for my family and my teachers.   I was never really introduced to gang violence or street life for my grandmother had sheltered me from that.  As I grew older different people dug within me and helped me find something that I didn’t know was there, morals. I was taught the importance of being honest, respectful and having integrity and as I grew they grew along with me.

Who supported you through school?  Who was pushing you to succeed?

I’ve always had my family’s support, and no matter what I did I knew I could go to them, however the foundation of support that was behind me went way beyond that. I had countless people who supported me through school. During my elementary years at SAIL Public Charter School I felt as though most of the people had my best interest in mind, such as Ms. Kim, Ms. Reem, Ms. Felicia, Ms. Lisa, Ms. Harden, and Mr. Ross. It saddened me that I had to find a new school starting in 9th grade. I was surprised that just as there were people who genuinely cared at SAIL, there were the same types of people at my new school HYDE Leadership Public Charter School.

What is the plan for post-college?

Well obviously after college I want to get a good job, however I’m not sure of the details of the plan. As of now my major is Athletic Training and it requires that I get hands-on experience. Having real life experience will make finding a job much easier.

What inspires you to persevere?

What inspires me is how hard my father had to work because he didn’t receive a good education. Yes, I want to be just like him but I want to do such without putting such a heavy burden on my body. Right now he is 64 (I think) and instead of enjoying himself he still talks about getting a job.

What are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of where I am, mainly because of where I came from and what I went through.

What advice would you give to current high school students?

My advice for current high school students is simply if you work harder in high school, then college will be that much easier. Just do your best all four years and you will have so many more options in life.