• October 28, 2020

GOOD NEWS: MC student ventures out and makes his dreams a reality - Odessa American: Good News

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GOOD NEWS: MC student ventures out and makes his dreams a reality

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Posted: Sunday, September 20, 2020 3:15 am

MIDLAND Midland College student Kerverette Starling hopes this article changes a person’s life. If someone is reading this thinking, “College is not for me: I am too old; I am young, but did not graduate when my friends did; I have kids and other responsibilities; I am not smart enough; people are telling me I should just get a job,” Starling wants you to know you do not have to stop dreaming: you can do it.

“When I was 18 my father passed away,” Starling said. “I did not graduate from high school. For years I thought about taking the GED® exam (now known as the Texas Certificate of High School Equivalency exam), but never did.

“Roadblocks are going to happen. We have no control over those unfortunate events; what we have control over is ourselves. My girlfriend at the time, Vanessa, enrolled me in MC’s GED® prep classes. I had no idea she did that until MC called me confirming my registration.

“I will always love her for believing in me when I did not believe in myself. It just goes to show you that people need to surround themselves with people who know and support them. I am so glad Vanessa signed me up; it changed my life. I was building on what I wanted to do with my life, but I did not have a pathway. Now I am an MC sophomore pursuing my degree in Kinesiology.”

Starling’s dedication and spirit make him someone people want to follow. He defines the word role model; in fact, he is a sports coach and trainer.

“I love coaching and training,” Starling declared. “It is all about changing lives. Being a mentor to kids and helping them as a coach in flag football or basketball opens up their minds. I could die tomorrow and be happy if I changed just one person’s life.

“Rapper Tupac Shakur said it best, ‘I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.’ MC teachers are living that quote every day. They care about me and are giving me the information I need to succeed, change my life and build up future generations.”

The road was not always smooth for Starling. Along the way he has honed his work ethic. He has learned to apply himself to all tasks in life. He gave and continues to give his MC classes everything he’s got.

“If you go into preparation for the GED® exam thinking it is going to be easy, you have another thing coming,” Starling warned. “The prep classes have to fit 12 years of school into 12 weeks. That is a lot of learning in a short amount of time. That level of intensity is the same in my college classes. You have to be engaged with MC’s teachers. You have to study on your own, but the teachers lay out the information and expectations for you.”

For example, Starling’s Achilles heel had always been math.

“The way MC’s instructors, Lauraine Baily and Jenny Rhoads taught math, science, history and English focused on curriculum priorities,” Starling explained. “They gave me the tools to think through any problem and develop my own methodology. Ms. Baily and Ms. Rhoads are two of the best teachers I have had in my entire scholastic career. They inspired so much confidence in me, once I figured out math, I realized it was actually cool. I used to think math was another language I did not know and it was too late for me to learn.”

It is intentional that Starling is now on the Kinesiology career path, a job that gives back. His life experience, initiative and ambition have called him to be of service to others. He says MC has been nurturing his goals since he enrolled in GED® prep classes.

“I believe everything we do affects others,” Starling said. “If we look at life that way and try to help others, our world will be better. People say utopia is far-fetched, but I do not think so. I was brought here and designed with capabilities I need to share to impact the world in any way I can. Whether it be through my future career, coaching, being a student or just sharing about my life. If we all open up it could have a huge impact for a lot of people around us.

“MC professors understand the theme I am talking about here, that is why they are teaching. They could have looked down on me without my high school diploma, but they did not. They took the time, brought me up to speed and continue to challenge me.”

Starling admits taking the first step can be daunting, but you have to believe in yourself.

“If I can do it, anybody can,” Starling affirmed. “I always heard sports figures and celebrities repeating that message and all that positivity sounded cheesy. Those people have millions of dollars; they cannot tell me I can do anything coming from my economic status. But then all that talk got me thinking: ‘Maybe they are right. I need to change my life.’

“I have to believe in myself and place myself around supportive teachers and students. MC was the place for that. They reassured me the moon is not the ceiling; there is no ceiling; you can go as far as you want to go. My story continues.”

Odessa, TX

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