I had a strong desire to become more educated…
College was always a goal for Maceo Brayboy, but it took him many years to finally find the right school that would meet his needs. Once he discovered Ashford University, however, Maceo quickly made up for lost time.
Maceo grew up in a small town in South Carolina and joined the U.S. Army’s Delayed Entry Program while still a senior in high school. Immediately after graduation, he left for basic training and soon began his career as a Military Police Correctional Specialist.
“Over the years, as I traveled and experienced different countries, I always felt as if something was missing,” Maceo recalls. “I had a strong desire to become more educated, a desire to expand my vocabulary and overall knowledge.”
Maceo’s quest for education began simply – he challenged himself to learn new words from the dictionary. “I would take advantage of my time at work, while working in cell blocks, by randomly selecting words from the dictionary, studying them, writing and incorporating the words in sentences.” His vocabulary grew, but Maceo still wanted more knowledge.
In 1989, during his second tour of duty in Germany, Maceo decided it was time to enroll in college. He spent most of that year attending classes, but had trouble fitting school into his unpredictable work schedule. Because of the constant shift rotations at his job, he was forced to withdraw from college.
Two years later, Maceo left the Army and was working in law enforcement. His employer offered free college tuition, so Maceo seized the opportunity to return to school. Unfortunately, the demands of attending college on campus once again proved to be incompatible with all of the overtime hours Maceo worked.
Flash forward two decades and Maceo was working as a police officer in Atlanta. One morning at roll call, a representative from Ashford showed up to discuss the benefits of returning to school.
“I listened to her presentation, looked over the materials she handed out, and when she concluded, I asked her one question, ‘What can Ashford do for me?’” Maceo says.
As it turned out, Ashford could do a lot for Maceo. With all of his previous college courses, military training, and on-the-job experience, Maceo would be able to transfer in many credits toward a degree. By offering online classes, Ashford was also able to solve the biggest obstacle that had hindered Maceo’s previous efforts to earn a degree. He wouldn’t need to drive to a campus and sit in a classroom; he could take school with him wherever he went.
“I successfully enrolled in an Associate of Arts in Business* program,” Maceo says. “I found myself on the path to completing the degree I initiated in Germany in 1989, 20 years later. I was a bit nervous, but I stayed the course.”
Maceo didn’t just stay the course at Ashford, he flourished. He completed his associate’s degree and then continued on at Ashford to earn his bachelor’s degree in social and criminal justice. With those successes under his belt, Maceo kept going and enrolled in Ashford’s Master of Arts in Organizational Management and Leadership program, graduating in 2014. Along the way, he was inducted into both the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society and the Golden Key International Honour Society. To top it all off, Maceo is now pursuing his doctorate in Organizational Development and Leadership at University of the Rockies!
It’s been quite a ride for Maceo. The college education that had been so elusive in days gone by, finally became achievable 20 years later. Through it all, Maceo’s desire for knowledge remained constant.
*Ashford no longer offers this degree program.