I played basketball in high school, so when I received a basketball scholarship to attend a local community college; I was eager to accept the offer. However, that was put on hold due to a broken finger I sustained before the tryout day. Therefore, I was ineligible to receive the scholarship to that particular college that year. The coach encouraged me to try out again next year, which (in hindsight) was the best thing for me. I used the time off to develop a plan for that year. I began working as a landscaper and continued to train until the following year. I was very thankful that the coach kept to his word and held a spot for me on the team.
Upon my completion at the community college, I was left again with the realization that I still had not thought about my career path. I had an opportunity to work with kids, which sparked an interest in teaching. After the decision to pursue a career in education, I had to consider how was I going to pay for college. I decided to continue working and save money. In the spring of 2008, I was playing pickup basketball on the campus of the University of Mobile where Coach Niland was in the gym watching the guys play. He asked me to meet him in his office the following day. That encounter led to a scholarship to help further my education. Until this point, I never even considered attending the University of Mobile.
Growing up, I attended church regularly and have always had an idea about God, but never fully submitted myself unto Him. I was always kind to others, but I always knew that was not enough. It was through a close friend of mine where I realized this internally because they said to me, “You are a really nice guy and you show the love of Christ through everything you do.” That statement struck me because I felt unworthy of such words because I knew that I did not have a deeper connection with Christ.
After that conversation, I began reading and attending church more frequently. I began to learn more about God’s sovereignty. He led me to the University of Mobile, led me to seek education because of my love for kids and gift of patience.
He receives all the glory for the position I am in today. My years at the University of Mobile are where I began to see how God has blessed me over the course of my life. He also showed me the trivial things that I complained about were not as big as the hardships that other people have encountered. God has always been there listening and answering my prayers even when I did not realize it. The course of my life — attending the University of Mobile, the professors, coaches, friends, campus life and administration — all tested me in ways to build my character and to reveal how God moves in the lives of others.
I have been teaching now for eight years, and the last five years have been at Saraland Elementary. I have coached the girls’ basketball team at the high school and am currently the coach of the girl’s middle school team. I was recently named Teacher of the Year for my school and the district. I also met my amazing wife, Ursula, at Saraland.
Where I am today, I give all glory to God, because I would not be sharing this with you today had it not been for Him.