Growing up in Harlem in New York City, LeRoy Ricksy loved football.
Especially that “team in red.”
As he got older, the “team in red” became Ohio State, and LeRoy realized the school also had a great academic side. “From there, I applied, received a scholarship as a Morrill Scholar, and there was no chance I would tune it down.”
Once accepted by his “dream school,” the summer before LeRoy began classes at The Ohio State University, he met Dan Thomas, a program manager in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Bell National Resource Center on the African American Male (BNRC), during the BNRC’s Leadership Institute. The institute prepares students for campus and community leadership that positively impacts the quality of life for African American males.
After attending the Leadership Institute, LeRoy was exposed to Band of Brothers, the student organization extension of the BNRC that focuses on scholarship, service, professional development, and brotherhood.
“I was instantly sold.”
LeRoy had the opportunity to attend the BNRC Early Arrival Program but was unable to attend due to a prior commitment for the Early Arrival Program for the Morrill Scholars Distinction Scholars.
“Although I was not a part of BNRC’s EAP, I was welcomed with open arms by my fellow freshmen as well as program coordinators as if I was a member of the EAP.”
Because of the BNRC, LeRoy has received many opportunities, two which really stand out for him. The first was the opportunity to attend the 2015 International Colloquium on Black Males in Education, a place to exchange ideas and perspectives concerning the global dynamics of Black males in the educational pipeline.
“This experience allowed me to interact with fellow collegiate students who had a keen interest in Black Male representation in education as well as allowing to interact with some locals and learn more about Kingston, Jamaica.”
The second was the overall opportunity to impact and interact with African American males at Ohio State. “Being a part of the BNRC, I have the opportunity to work with a handful of those males before their first collegiate class and to begin to help shape their journey.”
Currently a Criminology/Criminal Justice major on a Pre-Law track, LeRoy is a senior intending to graduate in May 2018. Post-graduation, LeRoy will be working full time as a Territory Sales Manager for Altria Group Distribution Company.
“Following that, I am planning to continue my journey with law school and become a Criminal Defense Attorney.”
Apart from the assistance he has received from the BNRC and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Morrill Scholars Program, LeRoy has plenty of others who inspire him to succeed, especially within his family.
“Having an older sister who completed college and left her impact at Penn State was an inspiration for me to come to Ohio State and leave a similar impact. My mom heavily influences my inspiration because she figured a way to raise two children in some of the most difficult circumstances a mother can go through. My father has a drive for wisdom and knowledge, something I try to replicate in my daily activities. And finally, my maternal grandparents, who were my biggest believers growing up. They could see positives when others weren’t. It is because of them that I strive daily to continue making them proud of the grandchild who others counted out at an early age.”