When Angelique Patton decided she was ready to pursue her education, trusted friends and colleagues advised her to choose Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®).
“From their suggestions, I knew it was where I needed to be,” she said.
Now Patton, who earned an associate degree in human services from Tri-C in 2016, is acting on her passion for creating a better community as founder and executive of 93rd Back to Basics.
The Cleveland-based nonprofit sets up small residences for adults, particularly those with dual diagnosis (mental disorder and substance abuse), those who have been incarcerated, and those with other physical and/or social challenges. The organization also helps residents find support and educational opportunities.
93rd Back to Basics is currently working to develop neighborhood-based job seeking, mentoring and career path programs for young Black men. “I believe in building up my community and investing in people,” Patton said, noting that she has had to overcome her own challenges.
“At Tri-C, I learned perseverance and how to accept criticism to excel in life. I’ve recovered from many things in the past. I’ve learned not to think about how many times I have fallen; instead, I think about what happened the last time I got back up.”
While at Tri-C, the Cleveland resident was an associate editor for student newspaper The Voice, as well as a Mandel Scholar and Phi Theta Kappa member. Multiple scholarships helped ease her financial obligations.
Patton plans to resume her studies at Cleveland State University next spring, where she will pursue a degree in nonprofit administration and leadership. Despite the pause in her education, she is confident and looking forward to this next step. In fact, she’s currently taking her final prerequisite course at Tri-C.
“We need places like Tri-C to help people get to the best parts of their lives,” she said. “I became a true leader because of my Tri-C experience. It sparked my fire for the whole world to see. I gained the esteem to conquer my fears one by one — and now, I’m unstoppable!”