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Featured at MindShare 2011, Fred was a senior at Creston High School with a truly inspirational story to share.
Growing up, Fred wanted to be an artist. "In middle school, I stopped dreaming that because they didn't offer art," he said. But that didn't stop Fred from dreaming—he decided to become a dentist. Why a dentist? Because "I like teeth, and I like people smiling. Some people cover up who they are by covering up their teeth. I could help build their confidence. If they showed their face, it probably would be beautiful." Fred's generosity and kind-heartedness were evident and we were amazed at his drive to succeed, in spite of the fact that Fred grew up in a troubled home.
From a young age, Fred was responsible for getting himself ready and on the bus in time for school every morning. As he got older, Fred was responsible for his younger siblings as well. By the time he got his little brother to school and took two city busses on the hour-long drive to Creston, Fred usually missed his first class. But he went anyway, late or not, every day. Fred says "I knew I could sleep in. I could skip school. But I liked going to school, I liked being there. And I knew it would benefit me in the long run. I told myself I could do it." That kind of determination and wisdom from someone so young is what makes Fred remarkable.
He worked hard in school, earned the respect of his teachers and classmates, and was named the Senior Class President, Captain of the football, basketball, and track and field teams, All-Conference Football and Basketball player in 2010, was on the Dean's List, and earned numerous other distinguished honors. Fred applied and was accepted to several colleges and universities, and earned a full-ride scholarship to Lake Erie College to play football.
We are proud and honored to be able to help support the education and growth of students like Fred. His amazing story reminds us that no matter what their background or daily challenges, Grand Rapids students are capable of achieving anything they dream.