Henry Peppers, Public Relations Specialist
My Takoda Experience
By: Henry Peppers
It was a cold and dark November Sunday morning when I received a sheet of paper that would change my life. The paper had information for a free public relations program at Takoda Institute. I knew in an instant not only would I complete the program, I knew at that moment I’d found the key resource to emerging from the level of life we know as poverty. I knew I found a key that would unlock many doors. A broad, stable, and flexible field that compliments my speaking and writing skills as well as allows more opportunities in the workforce than without. From there began the journey.
The process to sign up wasn’t painful, in fact easier than some cases. My experience at Takoda was more than valuable. I signed up for the Public Relations Specialist program in the summer of 2013. I was anxious and hungry to get through the program. To describe my Takoda experience in a figure of speech it was the “perfect storm”. Everything about Takoda’s environment was a potential set-up for success. From the small-school atmosphere to the hands-on training I received in all of my classes, I knew right away this program was setting students up for success down the road as much as the program (and school) itself. Even the lack of windows in most classes speaks volumes because not having anywhere to look but at your instructor gives students a better chance at learning than having distractions throughout classes. Anything I needed for completing assignments and working on multi-person projects could be done at Takoda Institute.
Living in a shelter made my journey much tougher, but having a place to get work done and focus was the closest thing to an equalizer. That was all I needed because after all, nothing was going to derail this project I was involved in. I understood early in my tenure what was at stake. I knew completing this course would alter my life and circumstances considerably. Failure was not an option. I was in a nine month course that had a two-year workload. I knew I couldn’t have many distractions. I knew I had to put school first and everything else behind, because of the impact this certificate of completion could and most likely would have down the road. When people talk about success they sometimes forget specific tools are needed and when you don’t have them success becomes less possible. While at Takoda there was never a doubt about whether or not I would succeed. They had an approachable staff and faculty, and everything needed to pass my courses. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Completing an accelerated, full-time program came to fruition and since graduating I’ve been on multiple interviews and have attained housing. My situation has greatly improved and more interviews are coming (than I can handle). Enduring a challenging, yet rewarding program has put me in an unfamiliar, position of choosing which direction the rest of my life will go. My new outlook on life is largely due to my Takoda experience, and I thank them for giving me keys that will unlock many doors ahead.