When Geraldin Landry Leukeu was at Seneca Valley High School, his auto tech teacher, John Maher, recommended he consider joining ACES. After he met Dr. Damien Robinson, at the time an ACES coach and now the ACES program assistant director, Geraldin understood why his teacher recommended him. Geraldin graduated from high school in 2014 and began his college career at Montgomery College. With the support of his ACES coaches and the camaraderie of his fellow ACES classmates, Geraldin thrived. He is now pursuing his bachelor’s in criminology at the Universities at Shady Grove and aspires to a career in law enforcement in Montgomery County.
Where did you attend high school?
Seneca Valley High School. Class of 2014
Why did you join ACES?
My auto tech teacher at Seneca John Maher, thought it would be a great program I could benefit from and I met Dr. Damien Robinson, and he welcomed me into the program. I thank Mr. Maher for letting me know about a program that I have greatly benefited from and is thankful for.
What is your major?
I am currently enrolled through the University of Maryland College Park Criminology and Criminal Justice program, and I take my classes at the Universities at Shady Grove.
What will you do once you complete your BA?
After graduation, I plan to pursue a Career in Law Enforcement.
List three adjectives that describe ACES’ impact on your education?
Positive, Important, and beneficial,
Who is/was your favorite teacher (or professor or coach) and why?
I do not like choosing favorites, by all means I think all of the ACES coaches are great. Based on my interactions with all them from working the summer programs, I always had a positive interaction with the coaches. All the ACES I spoken to have always given me advice, tips and always tell how proud they are of how far I’ve come. But, it’s all thanks to them who have made it possible for me to have a smooth seeming less path through college.
Which class at MC has had the most impact on you? Why?
I took seminar class taught by Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard my sophomore year. In the class we read and discussed many influential leaders’ stories and learned about the adversities they faced in life. Through this course I was able to see that many people in the world face the same challenges I may face, and even greater, and it’s all about how we react to that those adversities. It is not about how a person starts the race, but how he or she finishes it. At the end of the course, all of the students presented visions boards to Dr.Pollard. We discussed the dreams we have envisioned for ourselves and the actions we will take to achieve them.
Fill in the blank: because of ACES I can ___________
Because of ACES I can return the knowledge I have gained, and help my peers and anybody I encounter in my path.
In your wildest dreams, what does the future look like for you?
Impacting the world in the most positive way, and helping as many people as I can.
What piece of advice would you offer to current high school students?
Enjoy this chapter of your life. Four years will go by in a blink of an eye. Once you have to make the decision as to what college or university you wish to further your education, think about which school will fit you the best. This decision can be based on financial needs, academic support and school environment. Discuss this with your family, ACES coach, mentors, etc. Peruse your dreams and take advantage of every single opportunity presented to you, and most importantly enjoy each process.
What’s the best advice you have been given by your ACES coach?
“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably leads nowhere”- Dr. Damien Robinson.
Who is your role model? Why?
My mom. Everything she has ever done and currently doing is for her kids. Working multiple jobs just to provide and support her kids is very inspirational. When I grow up I wish to be half person she is.
What does success look like to you?
Success to me is not a destination. It’s a book composed of many chapters of my life which shows the challenges that I have faced in life, and how I was able to turn those set backs into learning lessons. And, through each one of my experiences I could look back and be proud of.
If your ACES donor is reading this, what do you want them to know about you?
There are many students who share the same story as I do. We all come from various backgrounds, and have some inspirational stories. Though money is factor when it comes to furthering higher education, sometimes all it takes is a family, friend, mentor, stranger to believe in a person. To help mentor them, be there alongside them through this journey and give back to them the knowledge they have acquire in their life and that is what the ACES program has done for me.