Despite plans to attend ASU, Wilson Okwuobu decided to embark on his educational journey at PVCC upon learning that he qualified for the President’s scholarship. This scholarship covered his tuition was a “deal he could not forego.”
The Male Empowerment Network (MEN) program “unequivocally” was the most memorable aspect of Wilson’s student experience at PVCC. Initially, he was a member and later on he was elected President. The MEN program played an important role in his mental development and was a source of empowerment as it helped foster his sense of belonging and connectedness to faculty, staff and fellow students. He often arrived on campus early so he could swing by and greet the people he connected with. Wilson reflects fondly on the comradery the program offered and the sense that all aspects of cultures were accepted.
Cranston Forte was an encouraging and supportive mentor to Wilson. Cranston nominated Wilson for the MEN conference in Atlanta. Participating in this conference proved to be a life changing experience. The diverse body of participants coupled with great speakers and a stay at a swanky hotel planted a seed of aspiration to attend university in the south. Wilson was very impressed by the “level of Black excellence” he observed during the conference “field trip” to Morehouse College. This experience changed the course of his life and would later become the impetus for his enrollment at the University of Georgia upon completing his Associates degree at PVCC.
Wilson also fondly recalls his interactions with Dr. Mary in Career Services and Cheryl Brensen in Admissions and Records. They were part of the MEN cohort of support. Rowdy Duncan introduced Wilson to Diversity Inc. Rowdy was very influential in expanding Wilson’s thought process and opened his eyes to diversity. HUM 190, an Honors Class taught by Dr. Jim Rubin, readily came to Wilson’s mind when asked about a specific course that had a profound impact on his PVCC experience.
Wilson felt prepared academically for the transition to university upon completing his degree at PVCC; however, he did find assimilating in the culture challenging. While at the University of Georgia, Wilson continued to be actively engaged in leadership roles such as Vice President of the Society for Entrepreneurs and Ambassador for the university football team. These leadership experiences taught him boldness as he learned how to leverage his platform to secure guest speakers as well as the technicalities of owning a business.
Upon returning to Phoenix, Wilson would engage his entrepreneurial spirit to start his own business. Due to the current pandemic, Wilson had to pivot and is currently engaged in exploring other options to capitalize on his entrepreneurial ambitions and talents.