by Jeremy Craig
B.B.A., Managerial SciencesAfter he finished high school, Elmorris Dukes didn’t think college was for him. He had struggled in classes and doubted himself.
“I told myself that I was going to go into the workforce and just try to see if I can be successful going straight in,” he said.
His father had escaped a bad neighborhood thanks to a college education, but Dukes didn’t get a stern lecture about going to college right away. His dad let him go out on his own.
He became well-acquainted with hard work: laying down concrete sidewalks and industrial food processing, for example. In the end, Dukes said the jobs he worked just weren’t enough for him.
“I saw that there wasn’t enough growth for me,” he said. “There were people who had worked there for 20 years, and they were still in the same position—hardworking, dedicated people. It started to dawn on me that I needed to do something else with my life.”
That’s when fatherly advice kicked in: his dad encouraged him to enroll in Georgia Perimeter College to get his start.
“He said, ‘Don’t sell yourself short to believe that you can’t be successful just because you feel like you’re not smart enough, or you feel like life’s too complicated,'” Dukes said. “‘It’s about those trials and tribulations that you have to go through that will help make you a better and stronger person.'”
After earning his associate’s degree and enrolling at Georgia State, he took on internships in human resources as well as a study abroad program in Turkey in May.
He had never expected to witness the human toll of a historic migrant crisis, in which Syrians fleeing war and terrorism had taken refuge in Turkey.
Now that he’s gotten a firsthand glimpse of global political and economic issues, he plans to apply to Georgia State’s joint J.D./M.B.A. program after graduation.