Partial Transcript: I didn't actually apply to any schools. The University of Georgia actually sent a letter inviting me to come to the University my junior year...
Segment Synopsis: Ware discusses the process of being admitted the University of Georgia, describing why she turned down the opportunity to enroll after her junior year of high school, the transition from Booker T. Washington High School, meeting other students in her dormitory, and being exposed to both white and black peers through a summer job at Six Flags Over Georgia.
Keywords: African American history; University of Georgia; admissions; alumni
Partial Transcript: "The only way for you to survive was to have a cohort."
Segment Synopsis: Ware discusses the ways that she was able to connect with other blacks attending UGA.
Keywords: African American history; Civil Rights Movement; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Hosea Williams; Ralph Abernathy; University of Georgia; demographics; student life
Partial Transcript: Outside of asking for the University to bring in some black hair products... that were not in the commissary at that time.
Segment Synopsis: Ware discusses the impact that her attendance had on the university campus - the reaction of the student body and faculty to her presence.
Keywords: Six Flags, Black hair products, activism, racial issues, dorm life, church, exams, football game weekend
Partial Transcript: You just graduated. You got a degree. I got my degree and you just went on.
Segment Synopsis: Ware discusses whether attending UGA was the right choice for her. She also describes how she gained invaluable skills at UGA that helped her to excel in her career.
Keywords: Graduation march, college cost, Hampton, Spellman, success, Canterbury tales, Summech, affordable housing, discrimmination
AC: Ashley Carter (interviewer);JW: Janis Ware
AC: Today is September 27th 2019 and I'm sitting with the beautiful Miss JanisWare who is a businesswoman, an activist, a housing expert... the list goes on. Thank you for joining me today.
JW: Thank you for inviting me to participate in this oral history project at UGA.
AC: Yes, so we're going to start about your time before you reached theUniversity of Georgia. So you graduated from the University of Georgia in 1977 from the Business School which is incredible. So we'll get there. But let's start before you even got to the University of Georgia. Tell me what it was like when you were in high school trying to figure which schools you wanted to go to.
JW: So that's an interesting question actually because I didn't actually applyto any schools. The University of Georgia actually sent me a letter inviting me to come to the University in my junior year where I would skip the senior year 00:01:00and do my freshman year at the same time at Georgia. And my mother said 'Oh no, that will not take place'. So, I started Georgia the following year after completing High School which was kinda amazing now that you look back on it.
AC: Right. So the University of Georgia admissions reached out to you? What wasone of their reasons your parents said 'No, this is not happening"?
JW: One of the reasons is because my sister graduated the year before. So wewould have both been starting University at the same time. More importantly, I probably was not mature enough because I had already skipped one grade. So it was not-- I just didn't have that social skills to say I needed to go and be at a big university with all of these adults or at least older students.
AC: Absolutely, so that wait, I guess, was worth it because look at you now. Soonce you graduated from high school you started your journey at the University of Georgia. Let's start from the beginning. Many students now start at orientation. What was that like for you? 00:02:00
JW: I don't think there was a big-- You met a lot of other students. I think themore of the interaction or the orientation happened as it related to being in the dormitory. So if there was an orientation to say this is where these buildings are, I just don't really recall that at all. And maybe it's because that was 43 years ago. So I don't really remember that but, you know, my introduction was in the school or in the dormitory where you had so many people coming in and out. My dorm was Creswell. Where do you stay?
AC: I stayed at Russell Hall. So right up across the way. Yes.
JW: And I think that Russell at that point was all male. Correct?
AC: I'm not sure about that. Was it?
JW: It was. I think Russell, Creswell was there. Russell was the next dormitory,correct? And then there was Brumby.
AC: Brumby, all the way up the hill.
JW: And Brumby was-- and so it was no co-ed dormitory at the point that we werein school.
AC: Very nice. Ok, interesting fact. I am learning something new. So you got to00:03:00Creswell Hall and what was your time like there? So, what high school did you go to?
JW: So I finished Booker T. Washington High School here in Atlanta.
AC: Very nice.
JW: Yes. It was exciting and we still have a strong connection with the class.So we have a reunion every 5 years and in two weeks, I think, we are going to have a homecoming so the class will go back and support the current school class for homecoming in two weeks. So I am excited about that as well.
AC: That's so nice. So Booker T Washington from what I know-- I went to GradyHigh School in Atlanta.
JW: Did you go to Grady?
AC: Yes. So was it predominantly black?
JW: It was 99.9% black. We had one white student that came from Stone Mountain.Who's name was Dante. And he came for our math program. So outside of him and a couple of teachers that were there predominantly.
AC: Right. So once you made your way to the University of Georgia, I'm sure it00:04:00was so different.
JW: It was really a culture shock. However during the summer of my junior year,and before going to Georgia I worked at Six Flags over Georgia. And that was a wonderful experience. So it gave you an opportunity to work around and engage with other kids. And a lot of them were white at that time so at least you got an opportunity to learn people and see the difference in the behaviors and the attitudes and the conversations. So, that was really a great intro into going into the University of Georgia. And ironically, one of the young ladies that worked with me in the security area of Six Flags lived in the same dormitory and on the same floor. So at least you go down recognizing someone that you already know.
AC: Absolutely. So outside of that experience with Six Flags because it is greatyou had a little prerequisite to that. What was your experience like as a whole 00:05:00with meeting people and getting integrated into a new environment?
JW: Because of who my father is/was and my mother, we went around and met a lotof people so he was very active and engaged in the Civil Rights Movement. So we covered that. So nobody was really a celebrity to me because Martin Luther King and Abernathy and Hosiah Williams, all of them came in and out of our home all the time. So the people they brought with them. So you didn't get excited about who you met. You didn't get intimidated about people because you knew who you were. So, we were raised to know that we were okay. We didn't miss anything growing up. So that was an exciting part of growing up in southwest, really northwest Atlanta and attending Booker T. Washington High School.
AC: That makes me so happy that you just said going into the University ofGeorgia, you knew who you were.
JW: I knew who I was.
AC: ...because you had all these people coming into your home. Tell me about the00:06:00woman you were when you first got to the University of Georgia?
JW: So probably a scared young lady. Not recognizing all that I didn't know, butI did have, I'm going to say, a safe guard because my sister was there. So all of her friends became my friends and I didn't have to worry about being alone because I had all of these older kids, just a year older, being guardian angels for me as well.
AC: That's so nice. Can we talk about the demographics once you got there. Youwent there in the 1970's. What was the demographics like when you first got there? Were there many black students or were there not many at all to connect with.
JW: It felt like it was a lot because we all connected but it was probably onlyabout 250 kids. We asked you're going to be wild, asked the system how many 00:07:00African Americans were actually in that school at that time. Whatever the count was didn't seem to be right to us as if they were counting the people who worked there at the university as well to say that it was the population on the campus but it could not have been more than 500 kids. You know how large the campus is so if you didn't stay in Creswell or Brumby or in Russell right next door or some of the other smaller dormitories that you could get to you, you could be far enough away that you would never even see those kids. So that's the real situation.
AC: Absolutely, so how did you, other than your guardian angels, did you meet acommunity of black students there or any students that helped you along your journey with getting integrated at the University of Georgia?
JW: Well see all of them did. All of them were either in the dormitory, theywere either friends of my sister's. But they came in with that class. So there were at least a hundred of us that were in Creswell. So you connected at that 00:08:00point and everybody, we have a tendency to gravitate to one another and you had no choice but to because you were truly the minority at that time.
AC: Right. So let's talk about that. You said you truly had no choice but tocome together. Why is that? Especially on University of Georgia campus. Can you explain that for people listening?
JW: The only way for you to survive was to have a cohort. To have someone thatyou could talk to that you could depend on, that you could actually express your concerns and your issues with because the fact is attending Georgia after leaving Booker T Washington High School was a different experience because we were all the same. Going into classes when you are the only African American, or there are 500 students in the class-- and there were 500 in my [high school] graduating class. So if you have 500 kids in one classroom that is a culture 00:09:00shock in and of itself. To recognize that you are one of three or four that may be in that class could be intimidating. So you recognize you had to be in class everyday. You had to be present and to be attentive because if you didn't get your nose in and you weren't in class because you weren't feeling well, you missed that assignment. Who was really going to talk to you or to explain what you missed or how that Professor has operated in the past. So you needed to have that support to go home to and say at least I know that I am alike with other people that are friends of mine.
AC: And I bet that was a great feeling. Absolutely, having that support system.I want to talk on something that you said. You said your professors who else is going to help you? Who else was going to update you? Let's talk about your professors throughout your time at the University of Georgia. Did you find a safe space with them? 00:10:00
JW: Not really. So I will tell you that there was one, that there was oneprofessor there I want to think he was over the music department and again I don't know how he found me but he sought me out because I was in the band in high school. I played the flute and the tenor saxophone so when I got to school he was trying to encourage me to participate in the marching band. Well Booker T. Washington's band is so totally different from the Redcoat Marching Band so it just didn't fit my personality. The music wasn't just the same. The acrobatics was not going to be the same so I elected not to do that but I did participate in the concert band which was amazing. So even though I was probably one of two in the concert band, it really worked out well and I knew that he was really very supportive because he was like, "Come on, Janice, you can do this for me. Just participate."
So that got me out of that zone of saying I just need to stay in the dormitory.00:11:00I was very active and going to the football games because I love football. So that was a good thing. So I don't think I've missed very many football games during the period of time that I was in school. But outside of that instructor and there was nobody that reached out to me. And as a matter fact, I had one African-American instructor who was harder on me than anybody else in the class. So maybe I scored an 89 on the test and she came back with, "I need to call your parents because you scored a B."
I mean, when did 89 become a bad grade? So you kind of feel like you're beingput upon by somebody who really should be supporting you rather than pushing you down.
JW: But I did have one instructor who is very interesting. So you know you walkinto the classroom and his announcement was, 'I don't like blacks and I don't like females.' Saying that, 'If you are both, you're shit out of luck. Drop my class.' 00:12:00
So the fact is you can sit there and say wow did he really say that? And Iobliged and canceled or dropped the class and took another class instead. And when I explained that to my family they said, 'Why would you do that? Why didn't you stay in the class?'
Well, when you have so many obstacles working against you at that time, youdecide which fight you want to fight and that was not one I needed to fight. He declared himself. I can appreciate somebody saying I don't like you, I don't like your kind, I don't like that. Let me take something else so I can get the education because I intended to finish the University of Georgia on time and within those four years that I had to do it. So that's what I did.
AC: Wow. What did that make you feel like when you sat in a class and someonesaid I don't like blacks and I don't like women and you are out of luck if you are one of those two?
JW: Maybe I should say that differently and not say 'shit out of luck' becausethat's exactly what he said. Should I say that differently? 00:13:00
AC: That's fine.
JC: It didn't make me feel bad. I recognized who he was. So if you allow otherpeople's words to affect how you feel about yourself then the whole world can affect you. So I just said okay. He has an issue. Not my issue and you move on.
AC: Wow. And you did.
JC: And I did.
AC: Wow. So let's talk more about your experience on campus. You said you hadyour friend, your friends. You had your support system. What did you all do for fun? I'm so curious what you all did to connect outside of classes.
JW: Oh, so there was always the Student Union building. So they played BidWhist. Do they still do that?
AC: What is that?
JW: You don't play Bid Whist? Oh my gosh. So those are card games. So, I thinkit's Hearts and Bid Whist. So they played cards. We always had parties. So 00:14:00people always danced and some people had apartments versus living in the dormitory so there was always a safe space there as well. So you got together about everything. I did not pledge when I was at the University of Georgia but there were all the sororities and fraternities were there. So if they have events or they had functions, it was another way to connect. While I didn't participate in swimming because I can't swim but I did go to a lot of the functions, so the acrobatics. So being active and participating in the other options or opportunities that were there, we did that. So just going to class and staying in the dorms and was not part of it. So I enjoyed the campus. It was a beautiful campus. It still is a beautiful campus. Just to be outside and to be able to commune with other people was really a wonderful thing. And you also have -- don't call it a commissary. Dining hall?
AC: Which one was your favorite?00:15:00
JW: Ooo,I don't remember the name.What's the one right outside...?
JW: Is that the one right outside of Creswell?
AC: There it is.
JW: So, interesting point about Bolton. I don't know what system they used toallow students to enter the cafeteria anymore but we were a test project. The class that we were in where they gave us a little-- No, you had to put a card in the system and they used your handprint to be able to determine if you were paid or should have right to even-- Now, we were tests. So a lot of times it didn't work.
AC: I promise you they just got rid of that last year and started doing eye scanners.
AC: So your test passed, I guess.
JW: Really? Amazing. It was really not functioning. So half the time peoplecould give that card to somebody else and let them come in and eat but the fact is, at that point, it really didn't work but it was an interesting thing. So you could always socialize there.
AC: That's so nice. OK Bolton is also my favorite.00:16:00
AC: So there we go and now, yes, so we were doing handprints till two years agoand they started scanning eyes so technology innovation right?
JW: So when you get your grades now. How do you get your grades?
AC: We get our grades through a system called ELC. And that is where ourteachers go in plug in all of their information and it's on one site. How did you get your grades?
JW: So actually they posted our grades by our social security numbers.
JW: Can you believe that? So it's amazing how things have come full circle. Wehad to know our social security number because everything was based by their social security numbers. So on the boards outside of the classrooms it wasn't your name it was your social security number. And that's where you found your grades.
AC: That.. okay, that's dangerous, right?
JW: You didn't have the technology that you do today so you wouldn't think thatsocial security numbers were going to be that interesting. The fact is, yes, so, I am glad it has changed.
AC: Yes, yes, me too.
AC: So okay, let's make our way back.
AC: Did you do any activism work at the University of Georgia? I know you're an00:17:00activist in the city of Atlanta. What did you do at the University of Georgia?
JW: Outside of asking for the University to bring in some black hair products--
JW: that were not in the commissary at that time. So we did that. So I rememberus having a little protest around that. But outside of that, I don't remember a whole lot of activism that was taking place at that point.
AC: Right so what was your feeling when you were on campus? Did you feelwelcome? Did you feel like it was your home? Were there any racial issues? I"m just trying to get a gage on what it was like when you were there.
JW: You know, the mind can play tricks on you let me say it that way. What Iremember are the great times and the fun times. I didn't focus on the negatives because if you do you get to be negative. I remembered that this young lady that worked at Six Flags with me. She would talk to me if we were in the dormitory 00:18:00but if were on campus she wouldn't speak. So one day I told her, and I called her name, 'I don't care which posture you take but either we're going to be friends or we're going to talk or we're not. But if you say you're going to communicate with me and I see you on campus and you don't speak then I'm going to embarrass you.'
So I could be three blocks away and she could just kind of see me and she wouldbe waving to make certain that she was speaking because the fact is just be who you are. And if you're not comfortable with that then fine. But in the dormitory out on the hall, she was cool. So I think people have to be real and I think those kinds of statements are things that you help other people recognize as well, that you need to be who you are wherever you are. But there were a lot of kids, there were Debbie and Patsy lived in the dorm in the room right across from us. And they were two white kids. They were a little bit higher like seniors at the time but the fact is they were the best. So we went out to eat 00:19:00together. We went to church together. Now that was an interesting experience because we were, probably, the only two black people because my roommate went with me. And the minister stood in front of the church and he said we accept everybody, eeeeverybody. Well, the only two people who were different were the two of us. So you just kind of say, well that's fine. And everybody wants to know why you're out together? Why are you out together? Because people really did not understand. But, you know, young people when you're open, people are receptive. You don't have a lot of people who just are hateful. Hatred comes at a much later age and is instilled. So you can overcome that when people realize that you are just like them. You put your pants on just like they do. We're going to take the same class and we are going to get our scores based on what's in our heads and how much we studied to get those things done, to get the grades that we want to have. But the fact is, you know, outside of recognizing that 00:20:00some of the kids got a hold of the exams. I don't know if you recognize that today but you could tell that they had the exams. I was sitting in a class and the professor was at the front and he said, 'They're too many of you young people together. You need to spread out a bit.' The group of about 20 stood up and moved to another area and sat down in the same exact order. So what did that tell you? You know they had the exam. I think that was the hard part where you know you're working on your own merit and they're working because somebody ended up getting the tests and I just think that was a little unfair.
AC: Right. So we're going to transition a little bit. You said something that Iloved, "Just be yourself."
JW: Be yourself.
AC: You said when he first got to the University of Georgia, you describedyourself as scared. It was a new environment for you. At this point in the conversation, you're a bit more involved in the University. Tell me the person 00:21:00that you are now that you're a bit more involved in the University.
JW: At school?
JW: You know, I don't think that I changed a lot. I became confident in who Iwas, who I am today. I think Georgia was a good experience for me because I recognize that people are exactly that, just another person. It's a different personality. But I, Georgia taught me a lot and I don't regret the decision to attend the University of Georgia. I would recommend it to a lot of students because you do learn life and you learn life experiences at a different level. So when you come out you'll realize we all are the same. The color of our skin may be different. I did have one student, classmate who asked me one day. He said, 'Janis are you black or are you white?'
Now I am light-skinned. I recognize that. And I said, 'Well, why are you asking?'00:22:00
And he said, 'Well some days you walk in here and you look like your black andother days you walk in here and you look like your white. So I don't, I just want to know which one you are. Because if I wasn't going to talk to you, I wasn't going to talk to you anyway.'
So I said, 'Okay I'm black.'
And he said, 'Cool.'
I just think people have to learn how to get along and how to just let liferesonate rather than letting predetermined negativity and prejudices enter into the equation. And when you get past that and everybody lives their life. And there is one thing that says, if you could just be kind and humble. And if you live under that premise you, become a much better person. Otherwise, you become very jaded and very angry and I don't want to be angry.
AC: I love that. Okay, so now we've made it to graduation. We're getting there.You were the first, correct me if I'm wrong. You were the first African American 00:23:00woman to graduate from the business school.
JW: I think I'm one of the first, if I'm not the first I am one of the firstbecause I didn't see a lot of females or African-Americans in my major classes. Which was a wonderful situation. So really, I had to study twice as hard. I had to show up to every class and it was interesting because on football Fridays or football weekend Fridays, people didn't to go to class. And I remember distinctly where-- I don't remember who we were playing but the only person that showed up for class was me.
JW: So the instructor said, 'Okay Janis, this is what I'm going to do. If youscore 88. I am going to give-- Or 89 on the test, I'm going to give you an A. If the other kids score 88 or 89 I'm going to let their grade stay a B because you're the only one who took the time and showed up for class. Well, I thought that was really sweet. I did make an A but that was good, anyway. But I think, you know, you have to enjoy that experience. You can make it negative. You can make it ugly. You can decide that you're not going to have a good time. That 00:24:00wasn't what I intended to get out of that school.
AC: Good. So you graduated. What was the outpour from your family, fromprofessors, from friends who saw you being one of the first African-American women graduating from the business school.
JW: I don't think you were paying any attention to it. You just graduated. Yougot a degree. I got my degree and you just went on. I don't think it was a major issue because initially I wasn't even going to march. My father kind of insisted that I go back and put on that cap and gown and walk.
AC: Why weren't you going to walk or march?
JW: I don't really know. Maybe it was just being rebellious. I've done this.I've accomplished that. Why go back down and have to do that. Because I didn't finish in the June class. I came out of the summer class. Because I ended up taking four major classes that quarter or that semester just so that I wouldn't 00:25:00have to go back the next year. I think my parents were beautiful people, loving people and they paid for two of us to be in school at the same time and to go another semester or another year was just not part of that program. So at that point I was like I'm done. I have succeeded. I've finished. To put on that pomp & circumstance was not all of that great for me. But I did it and I'm glad that I did it now.
AC: And I'm glad you did too because now you've paved the way for many studentslike myself to be there and to have a good experience. So looking back--
AC: What would you tell your younger self who was looking to go to theUniversity of Georgia?
JW: You know what I would tell my younger self is really explore theopportunities of where you want to go to school. And I think I took the easy way out because they invited me in and I didn't have to apply. I can tell you today that my spirit still says I should have gone to Hampton University. I've never 00:26:00seen the school. I've never been near the school but I don't know where that comes in my psyche. But the fact is I think I made the best choice. Some of the things that are different is that you don't have that camaraderie with finishing an institution that as large as the University of Georgia versus going to a smaller school like a Hampton or a Spellman. And Spellman was not a big option for me. Even the universities in Atlanta mainly because my mother said you need to go away so that you can grow up. Which made a lot of sense because had we stayed at home then you still would have been a little bit under their control. And for you to learn who you are and what person you're going to become you have to get away from that love, comfort that you have at home to learn who you are and who you need to be.
AC: Absolutely and I can speak to that as well. So the work that you're doing inAtlanta. So incredible. I was reading up on you like all week preparing for 00:27:00this. Tell me how the University of Georgia kinda set you up to be able to do all of the amazing things with housing, with Atlanta Voice. How did they set you up to be able to be so successful now?
JW: The ability to multitask because you had to do that. The fact is, I don'tknow what your experience was but in a lot of the introductory English classes that you took, a lot of the kids had already read the major reading resources, the Canterbury Tales. I had to read when I was at Georgia to be prepared to have a discussion and a lot of the other kids read those books when they were in high school. So had I had this list of 100 books that you really should have read before you got to school, I think it would have given me a better experience but I'm sitting here reading those cliff notes or reading the book just so you can understand what is being discussed in the class. At this point you work harder. 00:28:00So the fact is that I didn't know a lot about housing development. Organization Summech was started by my father 1989. He died in 1991. So I knew about real estate because I had my real estate license. But that was the sale and the marketing of that. To be able to do development was something totally different. But you learned it. So you do a lot of reading. You understand what needs to be done. You strategize. You know that you do development block by block after reading books to make that determination. And I had a lot of people who said that, you know, that you don't know what you're doing. And as a matter of fact, one of the funders who ended up being on our board later years after he was no longer with that organization apologized to me. He said Janis I need to apologize to you because when I was funding other organizations, I never funded you to the level that I funded them because I didn't think you had the ability as a woman to be able to get it done. And I thought that's kind of interesting but the fact is now you calling me. I'm still around. You still have the housing 00:29:00that's being developed and you're sitting on the board. So that spoke volumes. So the compliments come in different ways and just work a little bit harder to make certain the things you wanna do get done. I realize it is a need for affordable housing in the city of Atlanta. It was a need for the neighborhood to transform for what it was, from 300 vacant houses and lots to where it is today. A neighborhood that you can be proud of. That you can live in some really nice houses that are affordable and you can maintain a lifestyle. See, I think the one of my passions in life outside of affordable housing really is financial literacy. And that's the one thing that we're not being taught at home and we're not being taught at school. So if you can't manage your finances you're not going to be able to really sustain any kind of affordable housing...any kind of housing whether it's affordable or not.
AC: Wow. Really, UGA gave you like you said that foundation multitasking.
JW: Looking past the mountain deciding how do I climb that mountain one step at00:30:00a time. You know, how do you eat that pie one bite at a time? So you learn how to do things. You determine if you're going to be courageous or not. And you have to fight and you fight through it and Georgia taught me that. I give them credit. It was not an easy ride. It was not even a easy walk but the fact is I realize if I can finish Georgia during those years I can do anything.
AC: Yes, yes, yes. Now let's talk about that fight while you're here. What wasthe hardest fight for you while you were at the University of Georgia that you feel like really set you up to say I can do anything?
JW: So the fight-- To be insulted, to be discriminated against openly in frontof hundreds of kids could be discouraging. So you decide that you want to 00:31:00persevere and you just move on. And that's what I did. So if you can do that in the midst of a person who really is being really, where is showing hatred into degree in another level that really should not have occurred. Because it's amazing because today he would not even be employed. But at that point what do you do? Do you write down his name? Do you go to the office or the President's office and complain? Which I could have done. You just decide that it's not worth that fight. I've got enough fights that I didn't need that fight at the time. That you can overcome a lot.
AC: Now, last question for you. What do you tell African American students nowwho are either looking to be a part of the Bulldog Nation or who are already at the University of Georgia? What do you tell them being someone that graduated already? 00:32:00
JW: I would tell him to enjoy that experience, to enjoy your time, to makeconnections with people who are different from you and maintain those connections. And that's the one thing I do regret. Because for a while even though the two young ladies that I was friends with that lived across the hall Debbie and Patsy, they came to my wedding. Which was really very nice but I've lost contact with them now and if I had to do it, keep those connections because they are important. And that if you can actually maintain those relationships and remain, you know remain connected to the institution, I think that's the best thing in the world to do.
AC: Absolutely, well thank you so much for all that you've done. I mean, you'vepaved the way for me to be able to be at University of Georgia now. And I'm sure looking back you're probably like, I didn't even know it was going to be like this but there's so many students who are applauding people like you that came 00:33:00before us. So thank you.
JW: You know I thing I did want to say before you cut it off was the fact thatthere was a lot of students who didn't finish. And that was the amazing thing. I didn't realize that they went there for maybe two years or three but they did not graduate with a degree. Which I think is disheartening in a lot of ways and I don't know the reasons that they did not complete the institution but I do encourage them to fight through it because I remember one day when I called my father and said, "I don't think I need to be down here. You need to come and get me." And he knew I was not a complainer so he got in the car and drove down to Athens and by the time he got there, the kids had convinced me that I was not, I didn't need to quit. So I did think about quitting, you know, I just got mad at the test score that I got. Maybe it was a C-. And I was like I've never made a C- in my life. So maybe this is not where I need to be. So he ended up taking about 5 or 6 of the kids to dinner at Piccadilly and by the time that was over 00:34:00he took me back to the dorm and he went home. So I think you do have those points where you just think it's just too hard or too much and you don't want to do it. So I would just encourage you to persevere and push through it.
AC: And you are an example of what pushing through and persevering does. Thankyou for your work that you've done in the University of Georgia and the work that you're doing in the Atlanta Community. You are appreciated.
JW: Thank you. I appreciate the invitation.