Nathan Stephens is one of those grass to grace life lessons. He was born into a poor home and raised by his mother. The hurdles of life thwarted his destiny but the intelligent young man made a decision to turn his life around.
For is Bachelor’s degree, Nathan graduated from Social Work with a 3.74 GPA. He went further with his Masters program in the same course at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
In 2012 Nathan enrolled for a PhD programme in the Missouri University. The inspirational figure and public speaker says that he paused on studies to sort out his emotional and financial challenges. Bearing in mind that less than 5% of Americans have PhD’s, Nathan strongly believes this is a great feat for him.
“I am one of a few people that have ever been incarcerated that are attempting a PhD”
Nathan Stephens describes his family as a typical dysfunctional family. His siblings went in and out of jail. It was no surprise that he would also be infected with the jail-bird syndrome. His elder brother was shot dead in 1991.
Nathan’s family was so poor and dejected that he went into drugs. In the course of this illegal adventure he was arrested and put on probation.
On his release, brilliant Nathan continued his studies in Oklahoma but his life journey worsened still.
“I began a downward spiral of packing a pistol, partying in clubs, drinking, and living the fast life.”
A dubious friend encouraged him into robbery. Unfortunately he has caught and jailed for 12 solid years. While in prison, he took time to assess his life. When it was time, he was released on parole.
As expected he still battles with the stigma of being an ex-convict. Nevertheless, he still believes his life experience and turn around will be helpful to someone else.
“I have been a mentor to at-risk youth, spoken to inmates in jail about turning their lives around”
Nathan Stephens has served in a number of reputable capacities. He pioneered the creation of an award winning Black men’s initiative program at the University of Missouri. The initiative helps in leadership development, community services, academics and personal support.
“I hope to inspire young Black males to never let the streets, society, parents, teachers, friends, family, or anyone steal their dreams away from them.”