Pursuing a Dream: Author, Community Leader, Business Owner
Rhonda Crowder graduated from Tri-C with an Associate of Arts degree, then transferred to Cleveland State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, specializing in creative writing, editing and publishing. She credits Tri-C with giving her a foundation in how to study, how to think, how to ask questions, how to manage time and how to be a great student and citizen. She barely graduated from high school, so there was no chance of obtaining scholarships for college. Crowder felt that Tri-C was the only option for her, not knowing what kind of student she would be, and did not want to put a financial burden on her mother.
“Graduating from Tri-C with honors gave me the confidence I needed to breeze through Cleveland State University and begin my career as a writer.” Crowder is the editorial director of Rhonda Crowder and Associates, a creative services agency she established in 2011 while working as a general assignment reporter with the Call and Post Newspaper. Her company specializes in literary and branded content development, media relations and fundraising. She also serves as the Associate Publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Cleveland” and as the Coordinator of Hough Reads which is a Little Free Library place-based literacy initiative designed to unite the community around improving literacy and igniting a love of reading.
Crowder was recently named a 2019 Cleveland Champion by the Plain Dealer, Ideastream, and The Guardian for her work with Hough Reads. She received a Rotary Group Study Exchange Fellowship in 2008 and has received recognition from ICAN schools, National Action Network Greater Cleveland Chapter and The Phenomenal Foundation as a leader in her community. The El Hasa Court #47 named her 2018 Woman of the Year.
After years of working hard, long hours and never giving up, she released her debut novel, Riddles, in November of 2016. During the course of her nearly 20-year career, Crowder has been a copywriter, general assignment reporter, freelance manuscript editor, ghostwriter, associate publisher and literacy advocate. But her biggest writing goal has always been to become an acclaimed author – to join the likes of some of her favorites including Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison.
“Never, ever think Tri-C is second rate. Tri-C is one of the best in the country. It’s Cleveland’s academic best kept secret. The professors and instructors are renowned and they care about your success. Graduating from college may seem like a long, hard journey, but the reward is well worth the investment. And, always remember…those who fail to finish are those who quit.”