2012-2013 College Track Annual Report - Page 7

to say. Writing gives me the voice to say it.” While he found a lot of support from his middle school and high school teachers, Troy also connected with College Track during this renaissance. “I believe College Track has helped me grow to become the person I am today,” says Troy. “It’s made me more determined, driven, and motivated. I can say that if it wasn’t for College Track, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Where is he now? The day he spoke to us for this story, Troy was sitting in College Track’s Oakland headquarters, about to wrap up his summer internship, which bridged both the New Orleans and Oakland sites. Under his arm were the anthologies his writing has appeared in. A few days later, he was flying across the country to start his second year at Bard College in upstate New York. From where he started – displaced by Hurricane Katrina and unable to read at age 12 – the ground he’s made up is a testament to his resilience and will. “The challenges I’ve overcome have made me realize that pain is only for the moment, but quitting is forever. So quitting is not actually an option.” He credits College Track, with helping him win a full-ride POSSE scholarship to attend Bard. “They really helped me out with that,” he recalls. “I was one of only 20 students, out of 659, to win.” He also feels that College Track steered him toward a college that’s a great fit. “First of all, I love the diversity at Bard,” says Troy. “Also, being a writer, I love the mountainous area. Writers need a space to think and learn, and Bard gives you that.” When the opportunity to intern at College Track arose this summer, Troy jumped at the chance. “It’s important for me to give back to a program that supported me,” he says. During his internship, Troy worked with students in College Track’s new African American Male initiative. “I got the chance to work with a group of African American students with diverse perspectives,” says Troy. “I was able to teach them African American history, discuss poverty and racial issues, share important articles by black writers, and give them information about people like Jean-Michel Basquiat. The whole internship experience has made me realize it’s much better to give than to