EMU Student Profiles
Moment of clarity changes student's path
Bobby Curry (BA14), an Eastern Michigan University student on track to receive a master’s degree in human resource management and organizational development in Spring 2016, followed a radically different track eight years ago. Curry dropped out of high school as a ninth grader in 2007, with the intention of protecting his family from the violence and drug abuse in his Detroit neighborhood. It was a decision he later came to regret.
“Dropping out of school made sense at the time, but I look back know and realize there was little I could have done to support my family without an education,” says Curry, one of five siblings raised by a single mother.
Idle time away from school plunged Curry into a freefall that ended up causing heartache for his family, culminating with a moment of clarity around 2010. “As I reflected on my life, I realized the clock was ticking and I was running out of time to get my act together, not only for myself, but for my brothers who needed a strong black role model,” he says.
This epiphany was nurtured by Curry’s Christian faith and unwavering support from his grandmother and mother. “My faith helped me take all my bad decisions, my desire not to become a statistic, and my determination to help my brothers—and redirect that energy toward the pursuit of something positive,” he says.
Motivated by a renewed sense of purpose, Curry passed his GED; enrolled in Henry Ford Community College; and transferred to Eastern, ultimately earning his bachelor’s degree in political science with a 3.30 GPA in 2014.
“After my first semester at Eastern, I had no doubt I was TRUEMU. I’ve thrived here because Eastern’s administrators, faculty and staff really care about their students. Their support resources are tremendous. It’s washed my life with confidence. I strive every day to show my brothers—and the greater community—they are bigger than the struggles they face,” says Curry, 21, who currently maintains a 4.0 GPA.
“I’m the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college, but I better not be the last!” he says, adding that his passion for higher education comes from witnessing first-hand the effects of its absence. “I stand ready to help others headed down that path; to show them, ‘If Bobby can make it, so can I.’”
Curry’s enthusiasm comes through loud and clear, says Christine Day, lecturer in management. “Bobby is a strong participant in all my graduate classes,” says Day. “He arrives prepared, ready to share what he’s learned and eager to engage others.”
Jean L.Bush-Bacelis, a professor in the department of management, agrees: “Bobby impressed me with his keen intellect, willingness to help others on his team and overall congeniality.”
After graduation, Curry plans to pursue a Ph.D. in strategic management and ultimately become a college professor or work in state or federal government. “Thanks to Eastern, I feel totally prepared to be successful in my career,” he says. “I’m eager to see what the future holds.”
by Linda Hass