Proving the naysayers wrong
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Jul 03, 2013
He grew up in communities he said most people refer to as “ghettos” — Coconut Grove, Culmersville and East Street — and has heard that people who grew up in those neighborhoods would never go anywhere or do anything in society because of where they were raised. But he’s one young man who is proving the naysayers wrong. And he’s actually the first person from his family to obtain a college degree.
Audison Beaubrun has graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from The College of The Bahamas, and is now looking forward to furthering his education through to the doctorate level with Mathematics as his focus. And he wants people to know that no matter where you start out in life, once a person has the mindset and applies themselves to what they want to do, follows through on their goals, that it could actually all work out. He said the end result may not be perfect or materialize the way they plan, but he said some way, somehow, it will work out.
In the fall, 23-year-old Audison will resume his studies towards a degree in applied mathematics at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida.
In a surprising twist, even though he was a kid that excelled academically in high school, and has a clear vision of what he now wants to achieve, Audison did not always have a college education in his plans. He says through high school his goal was to graduate and seek to get a job at BEC.
A semester after graduating high school he decided to visit a former high school teacher. As he walked the C.R. Walker school grounds, his former volleyball coach (he had played volleyball and soccer) approached him and inquired of Audison as to what he was doing with his life. He told the coach he had a job. The coach in turn asked Audison why he wasn’t in college. Audison told him he had never planned on going.
“He [coach] said boy stop talking foolishness — go talk to this person, tell him I sent you to him and see if he could work out something.”
Audison followed his former coach’s instructions and he said he was offered an athletic scholarship to COB for the 2009 spring semester. What also worked in Audison’s favor as well, was that he had the grades as well, having graduated from C.R. Walker on the honor roll and being named valedictorian.
Upon entering COB he declared his major as electrical engineering, but in his second year he switched to Mathematics, after a lecturer he now considers a mentor challenged Audison to challenge himself. It was also during his time at COB he said that he came to the realization that there was more to life than aspiring to work at BEC.
The young man who by his own admission coasted through high school and got really good grades without even really trying, then had to settle in and adjust the way he approached education.
“At first it was a breeze, but after getting deeper into the field I realized there were some challenging subjects, but I was persistent and motivated and adapted to the change to do what I had to do,” he said.
As a student-athlete he said he also had to come to the understanding that he was a student first, and an athlete second, which he came to realize through a counseling course offered to student athletes to teach them about time management.
“I had to realize that college was nothing like high school … too much free time and no one running behind you and saying this deadline is coming up or this assignment is due. When the deadline actually came you had to have the work completed for collection, otherwise you get a [failing grade]. Doing that course I actually learned the importance of actually studying, preparing and setting a schedule to do things, and following that schedule in order to be successful in college.”
When he realized that, he said the transition was easy. Audison graduated COB with a 3.62 grade point average.
On the day of graduation, the young man who grew up in the “ghettos” said he didn’t quite feel the excitement that his peers had because as far as he’s concerned the turning of the COB tassel was not the end of the road for him. The excitement his fellow graduates felt he said he hopes to feel when he receives his master’s and doctorate degrees.
He was pleased that he made his mother, Janet Beaubrun, proud.
“Mommy always used to say if you don’t have an education, you can’t really do anything that you actually want to do,” he said. “She said she actually appreciated the fact that I actually stuck with my education and had made a difference,” said the second of five siblings.
As he believes education is the gateway to doing what you want to do, he now wants to set the example and be a role model for his three younger siblings — starting with his brother Valentino Beaubrun who has just graduated high school. He says his brother has expressed an interest in a trade more so than academics. And he intends to help his brother follow through on getting his trade.
“I told him [Valentino] to apply to BTVI for the fall semester. We are simply waiting to see if he’s gotten accepted. And even though I won’t be here physically, I will call him and send him messages via [social media] to ensure that he’s still doing what he’s supposed to be doing,” said the young man who initially did not have a college education anywhere in his dreams.
In high school he recalled the only subject he paid attention to was Math. Everything else, whatever he learned in class he said he just understood it and found a way to comprehend from what the teacher said. But he also says he wasn’t the “typical brain box.” He played sports and excelled at them, and was one of the “cool” kids, and hung around with other kids who weren’t as academically inclined as he was — played sports, chatted up the girls and just did stuff.
One of the cool kids
He recalled the most shocking thing he heard in high school was a friend questioning him as to why his name had been called during an assembly to recognize honor students.
“After the assembly, one of the guys said ‘Audison you sure that’s you they supposed to call up there? How you could get call up there, because I sure you does be hanging with us doing the same things, and you better than us in sports, how you could be better than us in grades too?’ And I was like it ain’t always about the girls and all that stuff. I told him that I could hang with them, chill, crack jokes and all that, but at the end of the day I still had to be able to go into the classroom and apply myself. And that the same way we were applying ourselves outside the classroom to the girls and the sports, that I also did that in the classroom.”
Audison’s undergraduate degree was paid for through his athletic scholarship. FIT has offered him a graduate assistance post, and he has applied for other scholarships to help him pay his tuition when he heads to Florida. He says he will take the road to his doctorate degree one semester and one year at a time.
He’s currently working at a summer camp program and enjoying helping to influence kids positively the best way he can. And even though he knows he’s heading off in a matter of a few weeks, and has gone through all of the processes in preparation — graduated COB, received his FIT acceptance letter, his student visa and I-20 forms, he said anxiety kicked in after he ran into a friend who graduated COB with him and will be heading to FIT with him.
“He came to me and said ‘boy we have five more weeks.’ When he said that I was like ‘Oh my gosh!’ and that’s when I started thinking about being the first person in my family to go off, and the transition I have to make from leaving home … mommy not being there, siblings not being there and having to do all this stuff away from home by myself. I was like oh my gosh this is going to be an experience. But I’m taking it one day at a time,” he said.