As a child, Aubre Smith cringed when asked to read out loud. He was very self-conscious of his stutter and worried about what everyone thought and said about him. It was his parents’ constant encouragement throughout his life that helped him overcome his fear of failure and in his words, motivated him to change his life.
Graduating from Douglass High School in 1999 was only the beginning for Aubre, who went to college but admittedly did not make studying a priority. He put education on hold for a few years to work, but when his younger sister graduated college in 2008, he was not going to be outdone.
“I was tired of working dead-end jobs and I knew limited education meant much harder work for less pay. And my sister is four years younger but getting ahead of me,” he laughed.
With an interest in technology, Aubre enrolled at Metro Tech in the Information Technology program under Dorothy Lyon-Lee. He smiled as he described his experience in the classroom.
“She was just a great teacher. Very motivating, encouraging, hands-on teacher that really taught me a lot.”
Aubre worked full-time and attended Metro Tech part-time until he graduated in 2010 with the A+ Certificate and the Network+ Certificate. He also earned college credit to use when he enrolled at OSU-OKC in 2011.
A testament to his unwavering self-discipline, Aubre has worked in the technical support department at Sprint for two years, and continues to attend OSU-OKC. He will graduate with an associate’s degree in the spring of 2014, and plans to pursue his bachelor’s degree at the University of Central Oklahoma after that.
Aubre admits his journey has not been easy, but definitely worth it.
“I tell people to never, ever give up. Bettering yourself takes blood, sweat and tears, but it’s worth it. Believe in yourself and chase your dreams.”