Jeremiah Malloy graduated from culinary school in Atlanta in 2010 and spent the beginning of his professional life in the kitchen, cooking for conference centers, senior living facilities and Howard County General Hospital. His long-term goal: To become a dietitian.
Given Howard Community College’s proximity to the hospital, Malloy said it made sense for him to enroll in the college’s nutrition program and advance his career.
But during his first semester, he took a Persian language class that changed his life.
“I’ve always loved international cultures since I was young,” Malloy said. “I used to sit in my bed and study encyclopedias. And I’ve always been fascinated by south Asia and the Middle East, so when I saw in the course catalogue the college had a Persian class, I knew I had to take it.”
Weeks into the class, Malloy decided to pursue his associate degree in HCC’s World Languages and Cultures program instead of nutrition. His new goal: To use his growing language skills as a diplomat for the U.S. government.
“I’ve taken Arabic 101, 102 and 201,” he said. “I can read and make conversation in Arabic and Persian. And now I’m learning Turkish.”
Malloy said HCC’s supportive faculty, financial aid and scholarships, and Howard P.R.I.D.E., a program that encourages academic, professional, and personal development of Black male students, have made it possible for him to successfully switch programs and get one step closer to reaching his goal.
“Howard P.R.I.D.E. gives you tutoring for math, it gives you scholarships and it builds a community with other minority males where you build friendships and connections,” Malloy said. “I’ve developed a lot of good friends within this program that I’ll have for a lifetime.”
Terrell Bratcher, Howard P.R.I.D.E. completion specialist, has especially made an impact.
“I don’t like speaking in front of people,” Malloy said. “I never did. (Bratcher) pushed me to volunteer to speak at high schools, speak up, speak loud and not to be afraid… He told me if you do it more, you’ll get more comfortable. And he was right. The more I do it, the more relaxed I am.”
Malloy will graduate from HCC in summer 2020 and then hopes to attend University of Maryland College Park, where he will major in Arabic Studies and minor in Persian Studies.
Wherever you want to go, you can get there from here.