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Celebrating the Class of 2014: DeJuan DeVoe

Veteran completes studies in less than three years thanks to scholarships that enabled him to focus on studies, not work

Monday May 05, 2014


DeJuan DeVoe, 34, of Gary, graduates this May with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics.

It’s an accomplishment he managed in less than three years, thanks in large part to hefty course loads during summer sessions, and the good fortune to not have to hold a job at the same time.

“That was possible due to my Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits as a result of my service in the United States Navy,” further explained DeJuan.

Supplementing his G.I. Bill benefits, DeJuan received two scholarships. The Peggy Gordon Elliott Scholarship, and the Finish in Four On Time Completion Award, gave him $3,200. That took care of a few months of personal expenses, DeJuan pointed out. Without the scholarships, and his veteran’s stipend, he says making the Dean’s List and finishing in three years most certainly would not have been possible.

“I've been worry-free with these benefits, and my only concern has been academics since the Fall of 2011.”

Once not able to attend college at all because of the high cost, DeJuan marvels at the reality that he is now a college graduate. He noted that less than 30 percent of adults have college degrees, and even more profound for him, even fewer African-American men graduate from college.

Offering additional assistance to DeJuan and other students like him is a student organization known as Brother2Brother (B2B). He has drawn on B2B members for support and friendship since he began his journey.

DeJuan said he was inspired by receiving the scholarships and as a result, he respects even more the value of giving back to help others receive a college education.

Higher education, and the critical thinking and problem-solving ability one receives, is what drives the world forward. Investing in a person’s college education is a worthwhile gift that is helpful to us all.

“In the summer of 2011, I was asking myself, ‘DeJuan do you want to do this?’ because everyone thinks that economics is an overwhelming thing, but it’s not.”

He credits IU Northwest’s small class sizes and attentive professors for that.

“My knowledge of economics and what goes on with the Federal Reserve has gone up exponentially,” he said. “I don’t think that would have happened at a larger university. The care level wouldn’t be as high as it is here.”

DeJuan was recently recognized as an Outstanding Senior in Economics. His future plans include earning his master’s degree and his financial analyst designation, and becoming employed.

“I have a decree that I have for myself, that by the age of 40 (in 2020), I will have all of this done. At the very least be started on the path to becoming a mutual fund manager.”

About the Class of 2014: Indiana University Northwest will confer 729 degrees at the 48th Annual Commencement ceremonies on May 15, 2014. The Class of 2014 will collectively receive 108 associate’s degrees, 511 bachelor’s degrees and 110 master’s degrees. More than two-thirds of this year’s graduating class are women; 40 percent are underrepresented students; close to half are first-generation college graduates; the great majority are aged 30 or older; and nearly 90 percent worked while earning their degree.

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