Many graduating college students cross the stage with the stress of student debt — but not Darren Forkey.
Between a large scholarship and working more than 30 hours per week to pay the difference (while taking five classes each semester), he graduated from Thomas on May 12 with zero debt.
“It was a lot of work. I looked at all the fun my friends were having, but I told myself it was going to be worth it,” he said.
In addition to studying and working while at school, Darren was very involved on campus. He was a member of the Baseball Team all four years, and he became famous for dressing up as Tommy the Terrier for various sporting and other events.
Darren is hoping for a baseball-related career because he enjoys volunteering and teaching baseball to young kids.
At Thomas, Darren was an orientation leader, leading activities and welcoming new students to campus at the start of the year. He loved being able to meet and interact with new students.
“I love this school a lot. All of my family is spread apart, so being able to have another family — my Thomas College family — is heartwarming,” he said.
“Between baseball, working, being a part of clubs, and school — and, just being exhausted at the end of the day — I was still able to get through because I knew I had people there for me to talk to.”
Darren said he was bullied through grade school, and it was the hardest thing he’s gone through. Going to Thomas changed that for him.
“At Thomas, they accept you for who you are, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of that.”
Darren’s advice to incoming students: “Get out there and do your best. Meet new friends. Get involved on campus. Be yourself.”
Darren will be back to Thomas in the fall as a member of the College’s Accelerated MBA program.
*This story was originally published in the Spring/Summer 2018 Thomas Magazine.