“One thing I’ve embraced in this roller coaster of life, is overcoming adversity,” said this HIPS scholar and veteran of the armed forces.
Arthur grew up in Plano, Texas and attended community college for a short time, but soon found himself on academic probation, and he was encouraged by his parents to enter the military. Arthur spent six years in the army where he worked on aircraft in both South Korea and Fort Carson, and he provided support to first responders fighting natural disasters in Colorado. “My time in the army was humbling and allowed me to gain some maturity,” Arthur stated. “It taught me how to interact with people from different places within the U.S. and allowed me to live in South Korea for a year, which was amazing.”
In 2016, Arthur received a felony conviction and he spent the next 28 months in the Colorado Department of Corrections. “My time in prison took my career in the Army, but it also allowed me to have a paradigm shift on my outlook on life….I had a lot of time to think,” he stated.
Following his time in prison, Arthur served an 18-month supervised parole sentence and found a job with a construction company in Colorado. He quickly recognized that money and promotions would be more attainable with a degree, so he enrolled at Arapahoe Community College (ACC) with a goal of obtaining a degree in construction management. Arthur learned about HIPS from his counselor at ACC and he applied for the scholarship to help him pay for his living expenses. “It was humbling to have a set of people believe in me and see past the bad things in my life,” said Arthur.
Currently Arthur is finishing his studies at ACC and plans to transfer to CSU in January in order to pursue his bachelors degree in construction management. While at ACC he has achieved outstanding grades, received academic honors by making the Vice President’s List in the spring and the Dean’s List in the fall, and is part of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. “It really means something to overcome adversity and prove people wrong and realize where your life is leading. I’ve had my ups and downs and I wouldn’t trade that in for anything. I’ve experienced a lot and it’s made me stronger as a person. Time in an uncomfortable situation makes you really start tallying your morals and your values and I knew I had to follow through with my education because that will bring me closer to my end goal.”