Forging a Path to Success
Aron Mixson came to MCC determined to change his life for the better. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but then again, nothing was easy for Aron, with a mother struggling with a drug addiction and a father he never met. Aron’s home life had always been unstable, being adopted twice and finally ending up in a children’s group home. When he turned 18, he was asked to leave the group home, dropped out of high school, and moved to a homeless shelter.
Undaunted by the lack of stability and family support, Aron forged ahead. He got a job at Taco Bell, passed the G.E.D. (high school equivalency test) and became a manager at the restaurant. Seeing a brighter future ahead, he applied for financial aid for college, and started taking classes at MCC.
Everything for Aron seemed to be falling into place … that is, until his father died. Aron explains, “I never knew the man, but it hit me hard when he passed away because I was never able to ask him any questions. And so my life took a downward spiral and consequently I defaulted on my loans and dropped out of school.”
For five years, Aron struggled to make it on his own. He says, “I tried to get myself out there business-wise, but without an education, it was hard.” During this time, he worked for a good friend and mentor who owned a moving company. His friend encouraged Aron to go back to school — even giving him the money to file the application. It was a turning point for Aron.
Having someone on your side during challenging times can make a profound difference. When Aron returned to school, he had a new attitude. “I decided not to let life push me any which way it wanted. I still didn’t have a great life at the time, but I knew that getting back to school would start me on the right path to a brighter future.”
Aron is grateful for the support he has received from his friend at the moving company and also for his professors and advisors. He says, “Just by them being a part of my life…them being concerned…making sure I was getting the right tutors…they were right there with me, making sure I graduated.”
Aron graduated in May 2014 with a double major in Computer Science and an Associate of Arts, and he is the first in his family to graduate from college. Today, he is back in school, working toward a bachelor’s degree in software engineering at a local university and taking some of the math and science core classes at MCC, with the help of a student scholarship.