JCC offers important step toward new career for Jackson man
Curtis Grayer III made a good living working for the U.S. Postal Service, but he wanted something more. In 2010, he enrolled at Jackson Community College and started working toward his new goals.
“In life, you have to pursue happiness,” Grayer said. While working at the post office offered a good salary, he was searching for something more, so he decided to pursue higher education. As a married father of two, it was not the easiest decision, but it was what he felt was best for the future. “It was an extreme sacrifice, but two things are certain in life; death and choices. And I believe I made the best choice.”
Grayer, from Jackson, took a variety of classes as he worked toward an Associate of Arts degree. His interests include philosophy, psychology and political science. He recalls instructor Melissa Piloske who taught his first English composition class, which he found to be a humbling experience because she urged him to try harder. However, his hard work paid off when he earned a 4.0 in his next English class. He admits he wishes some of his other classes at JCC were more rigorous.
A writing assignment in Professor Anthony Cleveland's developmental psychology class helped confirm Grayer’s desire to study psychology further. “He is an absolutely great teacher. He had us do a research paper, and it was the first time I’d done one that long. That experience confirmed for me that I do want to move forward with psychology.”
For his next step, Grayer transferred to the University of Michigan in January to finish his bachelor’s degree, with a double major in psychology and philosophy and a minor in political science. He hopes to one day be a professor at U-M.
Grayer uses a quote he wrote for his research paper to sum up his experience and his outlook toward the future: “Now and again in your life, self-examine in the light. In the mirror at the end, reflect the light, and keep searching within.”