Xavier grew up in Howard County, so Howard Community College was top of mind when he was considering his college choices. While he was accepted to other schools, he was attracted to HCC because of the diversity and welcoming environment he found on campus. After enrolling, he joined Howard P.R.I.D.E., HCC’s mentorship program for black male students, which confirmed his initial impressions. P.R.I.D.E. stands for purpose, respect, initiative, determination, and excellence.
“Howard P.R.I.D.E. was and has always been a blessing for me. I never thought it could be as good to me as it has been,” he said. Xavier says the guidance from his P.R.I.D.E. mentors helped keep him on track. More than that, he says, “They’ve helped me with everything, academically as well as socially, and have just been there for me and given me advice. I have become a better student and man.”
Xavier also credits his professors for helping him discover the right fit academically.
“They took me under their wings and have been more than just teachers to me,” Xavier says. “I think that when you can develop relationships with the people who are not only teaching you, but helping you become a better person, it will just help you build even more connections going forward.”
Reflecting on his time at HCC, Xavier says that going to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture with Howard P.R.I.D.E. was an important moment of inspiration for his future.
“We got to find out about our heritage and what the people before us went through in order for us to have a better life. It put a greater perspective on what the P.R.I.D.E. program is all about and why we are the leaders of society and need to be better people every day.”
In spring 2017, Xavier graduated with an associate degree in general studies and is transferring to Towson University to study marketing.