Deandre Wilson on Tri-C counselor: 'I'm getting my first degree because of her'
December 11, 2017
Cuyahoga Community College’s Linda Lanier met Deandre Wilson during an orientation at the Metropolitan Campus in the fall of 2015. A paperwork snag had prevented the 17-year-old from registering for classes.
Lanier, a counselor and assistant professor at Tri-C, remembers the look on Wilson’s face. “He was distraught,” she said.
She spent hours with Wilson fixing the problem. He left that day with a full class schedule.
Two year later, he’ll leave Tri-C with an Associate of Arts degree.
Wilson said that Lanier played a critical role in him reaching commencement this month. She offered guidance throughout his time at the College while helping him become the first college graduate in his immediate family.
“When I had problems, I’d go to her for advice,” said Wilson, now 20. “She always seemed to have the right answer and knew what I needed to do.”
Wilson enrolled at Tri-C after graduating from Cleveland’s Collinwood High School. On Lanier’s advice, he took advantage of campus resources such as TRiO and the Black American Council to keep focused on his academic goals.
He balanced classes with part-time jobs, too, working shifts at the Metro Campus Recreation and Wellness Center and the Cleveland Clinic to cover tuition.
Wilson intends to spend the next few months working to build savings toward his next goal — earning a bachelor’s degree. He plans to transfer to a four-year school in the fall to continue his studies.
Eventually, Wilson wants to teach in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to encourage students like himself. He said wants to help others the way Lanier helped him.
“I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough for what she did for me,” Wilson said. “I’m getting my first degree from Tri-C because of her. She made a difference in my life. I’m hoping I can someday do the same for someone else.”