On the Path from Homelessness to College: Devan Hebert Seizes Opportunity with Job Corps

Devan Hebert is a Houston native enrolled in the College Pathways program.

Devan Hebert has not let the chaos and instability that comes with homelessness get in the way of getting a good education. The Houston native has found a way to overcome this obstacle with the help of College Pathways, a partnership between the Tom Joyner Foundation and Job Corps.

We talked with Devan about his education goals and long-term plans. Read our interview with Devan below.

TJF: Why did you choose the College Pathways program?
Devan: When I first heard about College Pathways, I felt it would be great opportunity and a fix to several problems I had with college life before coming to Gary. Before I came to Gary, I had been a student at Hines Community College, but the problem was that homelessness and other issues was getting into my work and time, and the lack of a stable and instead often chaotic environment (in my opinion) seriously damaged my grades and time management skills. In coming to Gary, my intention was to learn a trade, get a job, gain a stable situation, and get back to college; and when College Pathways came about, I knew it would be a sort of fix, and help provide me a more stable and friendly environment to learn.

TJF: How has the College Pathways program made a difference in your life?
Devan: The College Pathways program is providing a sense of stability, and a better state of mind (in reference to class) than I had before; not to mention I have learned a lot regarding how majors and the like actually work, and that I was actually doing a lot wrong in planning out my education and future.

TJF: Who is your role model or the most influential person in your life?
Devan: Role models and such types of people are hard for me to define personally. There’s no one specifically that I hold up as someone I admire, but there are people I like and would be more likely to listen to, take a lot more seriously and take the advice from. The people who are most influential to me personally would be Mrs. Hager and Ms. Murray (College Pathways coordinators) first, since they are the first people I go to for questions, concerns, and they are very helpful, as well as with advice when I have a lack of understanding of something college related.

TJF: What is your favorite class and why?
Devan: At present, the only class I’m taking is Composition 1 but is a fun and great class. My favorite classes in general that I’ve taken before would be forensics in high school, and Introduction to Criminal Justice. Both of these classes I did great in, and were my best classes, and considerably enjoyable and fun because of how much I could delve into the subject, and the fact that I felt I did considerably well in them.

TJF: What are your future plans after you leave the program?
Devan: My future plans are pretty simple. I’m hoping and intending to finish the program with an associate’s degree in biology, and afterwards, I hope to transfer and develop that into a bachelor’s degree. After the program, I intend to use the associate’s degree to gain a job, and give myself the sense of stability I need, while also aiming for the bachelor’s degree.

In reference to my long term plans, while I’m not entirely sure where I’d transfer to and how to go about it, but I intend to go for a Bachelor of Science in forensics and become a forensic scientist/crime scene technician. After asking people who were actual forensic scientists that I connected to on LinkedIn, I found that many actual have bachelors degrees in general science, biology, chemistry, and other science-related majors. And since forensic science is not a common given course of major in most colleges, I talked to my Job Corps site coordinator and switched to biology.

Click here to learn more about the TJF/Job Corps partnership.

Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White is Director of Digital Strategy for the Tom Joyner Foundation, a writer and editor.