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25 From 25: Melvin Akins III

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Melvin Akins III, Contractor, James White Enterprises
Winning Futures Class of 2013

Melvin’s mother died when he was in 8th grade, leaving his 21-year-old sister to raise him and his four other siblings. Melvin was suddenly weighed down by adult responsibilities, was frequently in trouble at school, and had little motivation to graduate high school. He transferred to Warren Mott High School where he got involved with Winning Futures. With help from his mentor, Kevin Sutton, partner at Lusk Albertson, he established academic and career goals, and a plan to improve his grades. Melvin graduated high school with honors as a class valedictorian. After receiving an associate degree in finance from Baker College, Melvin enrolled at Oakland University. Today, he’s working in the property management industry while he finishes his finance degree at Oakland.

“Winning Futures helped me realize that education is a key to my success,” said Melvin. “I would’ve never gone to college if it wasn’t for the program, and I’m proud to say that I have not only graduated from Baker College, but I did so at the top of my class.”

Update, June 27, 2019: It is with profound sadness that we report the passing of Melvin who died in a vehicular accident on June 26, 2019. Melvin was an outstanding Winning Futures student and alum. Although he leaves us far too early, his story doesn’t – it will always serve as an example of how hard work and perseverance can lead to success.