My dreams were delayed but not denied. The journey is not easy, but if I can do it, anybody can do it.”
A turbulent home life. A witness to domestic violence. Incessant hunger. An incarcerated father. Homelessness. Vivid memories of winter nights sleeping in his mother’s car or sleeping in a shelter. ACPS student Kevin Perry’s life at home was brutal and chaotic.
Teachers and counselors saw Perry was in trouble early on. He was a bright kid, but the odds were heavily stacked against him, and they feared he wouldn’t make it. Kevin discovered basketball in second grade which helped him escape home life for a while and gave him the time to focus on himself.
Kevin’s school years were tough for him and his four sisters. Their mother worked multiple
jobs to bring in money but their poverty was evident at school. He recalls being mocked by classmates for being dirty and smelly — clean laundry was a luxury. He and his sisters sometimes slept on the floor, or the five of them shared one air mattress.
Kevin didn’t give up. His goal was to break the curse of poverty. He dreamed of going to college.
I’m a firm believer in that if you work hard you can do anything you put your mind to.”
Kevin, a Class of 2014 graduate, became the first member of his family to attend college. With support from his coaches, mentors, and the community, he enrolled in Ferrum College and earned a 4.0 GPA. He was later accepted into his dream school, Delaware State University, where he excelled in accounting.
The reason I chose accounting is because I’ve never seen a black accountant — not in my community. I wanted to teach my community the importance of financial literacy.”
Kevin went on to become the face of Delaware State University and role model for students everywhere. He studied abroad in South Korea, interned for Fortune 500 companies, and completed his master’s degree. He has recently accepted a job offer for his dream job, working for a leading financial firm.