University of Phoenix alumni Jahmar Robinson was not sure he would ever graduate from high school and attending college seemed highly unrealistic. Robinson grew up in Sunrise, Florida, in a neighborhood known as the Deep Side that featured plenty of gang activity, violence and crime. Even his high school guidance counselor held out little hope for Robinson by stating that graduating would be a waste of time based on where he lived.
Robinson grew up in poverty as the son of Jamaican immigrants. Throughout his youth, he dealt with serious issues such as homelessness, evictions and abuse. While his outer life may have been challenging, nothing could stop the inner resolve Robinson had to make something of himself and help others in the process.
Jahmar Robinson’s Path After High School
Now 28 years old, over 13 years have passed since Robinson heard those discouraging words from his guidance counselor. Rather than let those comments defeat him, he decided to use the words to help motivate him to graduate from high school, attend college and serve his community.
Immediately after high school graduation, Robinson had an opportunity to complete a two-year degree at George Brown College in Toronto. Once he returned to Florida, Robinson became a community advocate and social worker near his hometown.
Robinson worked closely with community organizations to help evaluate at-risk children and assist community members with qualifying for subsidy programs. Within a few years, he became an executive project coordinator where his primary duty was to assist community programs with developing and implementing initiatives that improved people’s lives.
Enrollment at the University of Phoenix
As he worked in his local community, Robinson reflected on his own difficult upbringing and came to an even greater understanding of the difference that community resources could make for a family or in a young person’s life. He also thought about his work in social services and how much it meant to him to help his community.
These reflections led Robinson to enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Correctional Program Support Services degree program at University of Phoenix in 2018. While continuing his studies at the University, he enrolled in a paramilitary police academy later that year. Robinson currently works as a police officer.
Both Robinson and his wife became ill with COVID-19 shortly after he enrolled in the academy. However, even sickness could not dampen his desire and enthusiasm for serving his community and making a difference. Once he recovered, Robinson continued to work for the police academy during the day and take courses from University of Phoenix at night. On top of it all, he still spent as much time as possible with his wife and kids.
Why Did Jahmar Robinson Choose Law Enforcement?
Robinson’s challenging and disadvantaged childhood, along with his experience as a social worker and community organization vice president, gave him the drive to move his skills to the next level. He felt that his enrollment at University of Phoenix and the paramilitary police academy could provide a good example for his family and community. Robinson graduated from the police academy in March 2021 and University of Phoenix in April 2021.
The situations Robinson saw growing up made him realize that the criminal justice system needed significant reform. He saw people spend time in prison and then return to the community without knowing how to integrate back into it. As a social worker, Robinson worked with families impacted by incarceration and facing numerous obstacles including:
- Lack of quality and affordable childcare
- Financial instability
- Lack of education and employment
Seeing the impact of these problems firsthand was the catalyst for Robinson to enroll at the University of Phoenix. He wanted to be part of criminal justice reform and offer better solutions to disadvantaged communities. Robinson feels that the University equipped him well to engage with the larger criminal justice community and the people they serve.
Jahmar Robinson Loves Providing Encouragement to Others
Sometimes Robinson uses his own background as an example when the people he works with feel like they cannot succeed in life. One story he likes to tell is of a young mother with four children who could not afford childcare to go back to school.
Robinson empathized with her situation and promised to do everything he could to assist her in locating resources. She came to him at a point in her life where she had run out of options. After conducting research and making many calls, Robinson acquired full-time childcare on the young mother’s behalf. She took advantage of the opportunity to earn her GED and enroll in college to earn a nursing degree.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix offers associate, bachelor and master’s degree options in many programs of study. Most classes are available online to allow busy adult students to balance their work and family obligations. Students do not have to wait until the start of a new semester to begin classes since new programs launch nearly every month. A degree from University of Phoenix can prepare students to enter many career paths.
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