From left to right: Derrick Perkins and Shawn Jorden
From left to right: Derrick Perkins and Shawn Jorden

It happened earlier this month when Shawn Jorden, 25, was handed his degrees in Psychology and Liberal Arts from the Community College of Philadelphia, a goal that he had initially thought was out of reach.

Jorden attended Indiana University before attending CCP but because of the university’s tuition and cost of living, he was forced to return to Philadelphia.

At times he found himself homeless while working to complete his degree, relying on the kindness of friends and family for a place to live and work.

“I really wasn’t feeling it because I was at a four-year university and coming to a two-year institution, I was a little depressed about that,” Jorden said. “So I did some research and decided that I needed some help but I wasn’t sure what kind of help I needed.”

Jorden connected with The Center for Male Engagement at CCP and met Kevin Convington, who would later become his mentor as well as Derrick Perkins, the director of the program.

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Dominique “Peak” Johnson is a North Philadelphia journalists and blogger. He is one of the founding editors and writers of the North Philly Metropolis and blogger for  The Huffington Post. Click here to learn more about Peak