Grind Now Shine Later is more than just a band that you wear around your wrist and tell people about, it's a lifestyle. A lifestyle I adopted because I was at a point in my life where I could have either given up on my dream of becoming an independent man or endured the struggles that came with the process of maturity; I chose to endure.
My Grind Now Shine Later story began in 2013 when I had a drastic life change. I had just got back from deployment, ended a long relationship, moved and was going to school full time. Needless to say I was a busy guy trying to manage all these priorities in an orderly fashion.
Fast forward to 2014 I was nearing the end of my college career at HPU and I was applying to any jobs I could. I must have submitted over a 100 applications to various forms of employment: Truck driver, social worker, factory worker, flight attendant, chaplain, etc. All of them said I was either under or over qualified.
Finally I caught a break, Goodwill Industries of NC "where we put people to work" called me back and offered me a position for full time employment at 9.00/hr. I didn't care what the wage was, I was just happy to have a place of employment working closely with the community and then not even a week later Moses Cone calls and offers me a full time position as well for around the same rate of pay.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. I decided that I would ask Goodwill to be downgraded to part time on weekends so that I could work full time during the week at Moses Cone. Yep, that meant 7 days a week I was working about 60 hours and I did that for a year straight to pull myself out of debt and give myself a platform to grow from.
Working for two community based organizations gave me the fulfillment I needed to push through when my body would tire from working so much and help take care of my Uncle as well. Mentally, physically and emotionally taxed? I pressed forward because of my faith in God, myself and the people he placed in my life during this time.
After a year of working almost everyday I was able to pull myself out of debt and get my driving privileges back, only work one job and start my own Mobile maintenance service in hopes to extend my service to the community even further.
Why do I Grind the way I do? I am the eldest of six children and my family is somewhat complex, but as the oldest I accepted the responsibility of being a leader at an early age, and although it has been very tough I appreciate my place in my family's life.
My mother had me at 16 and she defied every stereotype this country tried to put her under. She graduated high school with honors (even though they wouldn't honor her publicly because she was pregnant), she went on the graduate from NCCU, and most importantly she came back to get her son once she had done so. My mom set the bar with her overcoming of obvious obstacles and then proceeded to nurture me on how to take it further.
That's why I Grind