October 10, 2008
ASU Spotlight: Turning Dreams Into Reality
Courtesy Alabama State University: Hornet Happenings. By Voderick Mickles, student writer
Turning a dream into reality is what Alabama State University alumnus Ramone Harper hopes to do for future generations of young men and women.
Harper and several of his close college friends recently started TDI Realities, an organization that is dedicated to assisting high school or college students make a successful transition into adulthood, higher education or the professional workforce.
Harper, a 1997 graduate, and Dr. Brencleveton “Donta” Truss, Terrance Turner, Tyrish Garret, Bryant Spencer, Anthony “Tony” Lewis, Herman Moncrief, Marc Desgraves IV, Jeremy Spratling, Terrence Hall, Demetrius Jones and Greg Hall all wanted to give back something to ASU. Through TDI Realities, they think they have the chance to do just that.
“Our vision is to advance human well-being by assisting in developing holistic, well-rounded individuals who will become positive contributors to society,” Harper said. Hopefully, those helped through TDI will, in turn, help future generations of young men and women, he said.
Recently, TDI developed a scholarship to support the financial and developmental needs of young men attending ASU who are from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, or from Talladega, Carrollton, or Prattville.
“This award was created in the spirit of what defines TDI yesterday, today and tomorrow, which is the embracing of fellowship and strong relationships, the desire to have fun, and the assurance that all endeavors are performed in excellence,” Harper said. “Unlike most scholarships, we plan to offer mentorships, guidance and apprenticeship opportunities to students during and/or after their college career.”
While attending ASU, Harper and his friends formed a unique bond. They lived together, studied together and partied together. They even created an organization called TallaDallas Productions, Inc., which was comprised of the two cities they were from — Talladega and Dallas. Harper said this friendship set the foundation for their mentoring program .
“We played intramural basketball together, and organized top-notch sophisticated parties all over the city,” said Harper. “We want to share lessons learned from our experiences in an effort to reduce the risk of mentored students making the same mistakes.”
Harper gives ASU credit for teaching him life’s lessons and that is why he wants to give back to his alma mater.
“ASU taught me . . . how to be a man, how to be independent, how to be a go-getter, how to build and nurture positive relationships and how to handle adversity,” Harper said. “Even the negative aspects, such as the antiquated financial aid system, registration process, etc., were a positive because it prepared me for the reality of life that doesn’t come easy.”
Harper encourages present and upcoming students to put God first in their lives and strive to do things the right way.
“God will take care of all of your needs and desires,” Harper said. “I have learned to value relationships and to operate with a spirit of excellence in all that I do because those things will bring you favor in life and bring you before prominent people.”