Darryl Robinson, a freshman at Georgetown University studying health-care management and policy, was recently featured in the Washington Post, giving an account of his first year at Georgetown University and the struggles he overcame to get there. The focus of the article, “I excelled in D.C. schools. But I wasn’t ready for college,” was about how our high schools do, or many times do not, prepare students for college. To many, Darryl Robinson was just another young African American male being raised by his grandmother and would never go very far. Darryl stated that “failure was more believable than achievement” for someone in his situation. No one challenged him to think for himself or develop his own ideas, only memorize and recall information. Darryl recalled that his teachers would accuse him of cheating, even though his grandmother would stay up at night and help him study basic math so he would do well on tests. Those doubts, and his grandmother’s support, drove Darryl to want to be more than what was expected of him, and he received a full scholarship to Georgetown University.
Darryl has countless examples of adults that looked at him and assumed he would not succeed, but his grandmother did just the opposite. Even today, she calls her 19 year old grandson daily to check in and offer moral support. Darryl’s grandmother taught him to value education, leading by example as she helped him study each night. Generations United would like to not only highlight the importance of grandparents that give children a safe place to live, but also those that take the extra time and effort to become parents once more and teach their children how to believe in themselves. Darryl took this lesson to heart and is today working hard at Georgetown University, alongside the students he once admired for having the chance to attend one of the nation’s best universities.