Each morning and each night I look at my journalism degree from Temple University, I remember the challenges I overcame to get it, including the fear of never receiving it at all.
The overwhelming euphoria I felt when it finally arrived in the mail is something I still carry to this day. It can never really be replicated or taken away.
In the beginning, I never saw myself attending college. I never saw it as the important factor it would become in my life. I grew up in and still live in North Philadelphia. A college graduate is something not often seen coming from a low income household or an impoverished neighborhood.
I remember walking through my neighborhood on graduation day, a cool spring day, twiddling my fingers as my gown blew in the breeze. This would actually be my second degree. The first came from the Community College of Philadelphia just a few years prior. Though I was older, and some things were different, the joy remained the same.
As I continued to the Liacouras Center, random strangers shouted congratulations to me. I thanked them, taking in every moment.
Dominique “Peak” Johnson is a North Philadelphia journalist. He is one of the founding editors and writers of the North Philly Metropolis, blogger for The Huffington Post and contributing writer to numerous online publications. Click here to learn more about Peak.