The College Dropout
The system built education around our future. We hear.. “graduate college so you can obtain a degree and get a good job” but what about the people who choose to have a less systematic route because of the vision they see for themselves. According to college-atlas, 70% of Americans will study at a 4-year college, but less than 2/3 will graduate with a degree.
"I want to make the acquisition of knowledge more accessible for all in the most interactive, explorative, and entertaining way possible despite socio-economic status."
Dewayne Roy has now become a statistic. So how does a 20 year old college student decide that one day he wants to drop out of his 4 year institution at St.John's University and move to Silicon Valley to fulfill his tech startup?
“I dropped out of college because I came to the realization that I didn’t need the system of higher education as a prerequisite to making a difference, having a lasting impact, and living for a purpose. Also, I felt as though college was diminishing my creativity rather than inspiring it.”
Dewayne is not the only person who dropped out of college to fulfill a business. Entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and Mark Zuckerberg to name a few- have all dropped out of college to follow their dreams.
"I started this tech company because I want to make the acquisition of knowledge more accessible for all in the most interactive, explorative, and entertaining way possible despite socio-economic status. I adamantly believe that artificial intelligence (AI) has the power to help solve some of the world's most complex problems like equal access to education and healthcare. Currently, I'm researching how to make the access to education and mental health care ubiquitous for all through the usage of AI, with a focus on developing nations."
It is safe to say that tech is innovatively changing the future and celebrities such as Kehlani, Will I Am, Chance The Rapper, Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, and so much more are all involved in the growing of the tech industry.
Now it takes extreme determination and faith to really believe in what you have planned to disconnect yourself from the higher education system, and that isn’t something many of us can do. But as young dreamers and thinkers, it is important to be completely inspired by what we do because without inspiration there is no motivation to fuel our purpose. Everyone on this planet has their own specific purpose designed for their destiny but Dewayne explained that his purpose in life is simply to inspire others to do the things that inspire them.
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it."
"An entrepreneur that I admire is Steve Jobs. My admiration for Steve stems from his philosophy of life which holds that what matters most in life is figuring out what you love to do, passionately pursuing a career in that area, committing yourself to thoroughly understanding it, always going by your own judgment, monitoring how you spend your time, and continually adjusting your activities in order to achieve the greatest happiness possible."
Not only is this a bold move but a brave one and I strongly believe that a person who takes risks in life are the most fearless and successful leaders. But like steve jobs said “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
Dewayne shares with me some ways he stays focused and where his future lies as an entrepreneur.
"Some ways I stay inspired to reach my goals are to acknowledge the fact that nothing is going to be handed to me on a silver platter. If I want to become a billionaire, I have to create a billion dollars worth of value in the world. I also read a lot, like one book a week. A more unorthodox way I stay inspired is to remember that I’m going to die. My recognition of the absolutism of reality, the preciousness of life, and the inevitability of death allows me to take the rather negative connotation of death that we have and transcend it into something that fuels my passion to succeed. Mentors and advisors help a lot as well because they can help guide you on your journey."
"I see myself in the next couple of year being a leader and change-maker in the realm of artificial intelligence while also investing early-stage capital in technology startups working to solve real-world problems. In addition, it would be cool to sit on some panels or do a TED talk. I might even write a book."
I think there is a lesson in Dewayne’s story, but I also think that it is up to you to decipher how you see it. It is safe to say that Dewayne exemplifies a fearless and courageous student and he is still being educated by different tools rather than what the higher education could give him.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” - Nelson Mandela