Name: Chad Nevills
College: Southern University A&M - Baton Rouge
Major: Computer Science Major
Grad year: 2007
Masters program: MBA w/concentration in Project Management
College: Florida Institute of Technology
Grad date: 2012
About Javon: I'm the eldest of three boys, growing up in small town with dreams of becoming a professional athlete. Most of my childhood was spent on video games and playing sports. I think I was a "jock" for the most part; football, baseball, and track practice were the highlights of my days. I made "ok" grades while in high school as my main focuses were on whatever sport I was playing at the time. By the time graduation time came around, I was ashamed of myself after realizing just how much I'd played around in school after finishing with a GPA of 2.5. Then reality kicked in, there was no more football... no more baseball... no more track, it was either go to college or go out and find work somewhere to make a living for myself.
There were two distinct instances where I was motivated to do more for myself; Sometime during my sophomore year my mom told me, that during a school visit, my calculus teacher, Coach Heintz, told her that I'd never make it through college because my math skills were so poor. I was more determined and motivated to do well after this; as learning became my top priority, I simply applied myself and everything sort of just fell into place. The grades, the internship, the growing knowledge, it all started happening for me and after 4 years, I graduated. This time around, I felt a lot better about what I'd accomplished. Then, the summer prior to graduating, I'd worked at a Wal-Mart Distribution center loading trucks in the sweltering heat of the summer. I knew for sure I did not want to do that for the rest of my life so I decided to follow my best friend and go to college.
My knowledge and love for computers led me to pursue a degree in computer science. I figured computer science was basically going to be the "engineering" of computers, but boy was I ever wrong. The next step was to do something I'd not done probably since grade school (pick up a book and actually read it!). I was determined to do well, especially after ending my high school tenure on such a bad note. I was the first male on either side of my family to EVER graduate college. After a few months of job searching, and interviews, I got a couple offers and ended up accepting a job with a Fortune 500 company, Boeing, in Herndon, Va and the rest is pretty much history.
I did make sure to pay a visit to Mr. Coach H about a year ago to let him know what I was up to these days ;-). Of course I didn't let him know that I was aware of what he'd informed my mother of but it felt good to let him know that not only had I made it through college.... but I finished in the ever-so math heavy subject of Computer Science... and was an engineer!
What is your life's mission?
I am constantly learning more and more about myself and how this world operates. Nothing pleases me more than seeing our black people succeed in life. My mission is to serve as a role model, I want to be someone who my fellow African American men and women look up to; someone they can come to when they need to talk whether its career related, life, or what have you, I just want to help. It's always a pleasure to talk to college students to inform them about how they should prepare themselves before they step out into the real world. I'm constantly searching the job search wire for internships that I may be able to forward over to one of my professors back at Southern University so that she may distribute them out to students. Whatever I can do to help, every little bit counts.
What does being a black man mean to you?
PERSEVERANCE! It isn't a matter of black is beautiful as much as it is white is not all that's beautiful. I am black. We black men have come a long way since the days of slavery through perseverance. I am black, I am man. That means to the public eye, I have to work that much harder to be accepted in society. The world is hard on black men, but I refuse to be stuck in a limited image. I realize that I'm black, but I like to be viewed as a person, and this is everybody's wish. I am here to show that I can do anything I want, I can be as successful as I allow myself to be, no stereotype is ever going to get in my way just as my ancestors did. I want to take responsibility for future generations and how they carry themselves. We're more than just athletes that can jump extremely high, run extremely fast. We can be more than just entertainers; we can be whatever we want to be. If I can make 1/10 the difference the likes of MLK, Malcolm X, etc made, then I consider that successful. Every little bit counts :).
"I am black, I am man. That means to the public eye, I have to work that much harder to be accepted in society"