My aunt told me about UNT Dallas. It had everything I wanted in a college. It was a place where I would be more than a number; people would know me by name.

On Fire to Help

Meet Cameron, Class of 2018, Criminal Justice

My dad has always said that to get what you want in life, you have to help others get what they want. It’s become my life motto, whether I’m wrestling, in class or volunteering my time.

My dad was a teen parent. He came from nothing, and worked hard to become somebody. When I received the PLUS Fellows scholarship at UNT Dallas, he told me that he wasn’t going to let me finish college before him. My dad enrolled in college last summer and is nearing completion of his bachelor’s degree. He encourages me to do the best I can. He says as long as you are improving yourself, you are winning every day. 

Volunteer work is something we do together. We serve on mission trips and volunteer for the soup kitchen in downtown Dallas. We bring clothes and brown bags lunches to the government housing areas and let them choose what they want. We went to Alabama to fix and paint houses. Last year, we went to Oklahoma to help out with the tornado relief.

Feeding the hungry and helping the homeless is my passion. My family raises money and collects canned food during the time of Thanksgiving. We deliver the food around the end of the school semester. We contact apartment complexes and ask who is in need of food. On the side, we collect Christmas presents to deliver as well.

I wasn’t always concerned about giving back. I went through a rough patch in the eighth grade and went to live with my aunt. I was involved in things I regret and got into a lot of trouble. Both my dad and my family inspired me to get my life back together.

My aunt is a high school counselor, so she helped me look for colleges. She told me to write down what I wanted in a school. I wanted a place close to home that was affordable; a place where I could talk easily with my professors. She told me about UNT Dallas. It had everything I wanted in a college. It was a place where I would be more than a number; people would know me by name.

Pursuing a higher education has helped me set goals and network with people that I probably would have never met. Before I came to UNT Dallas, I wanted to be a firefighter. Now I’ve set the bar even higher and want become an arson investigator, and someday start a non-profit that helps and empowers the homeless. I’m confident now that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to do.