ALPHARETTA—Malcolm Mondesir has juggled multiple jobs to fulfill his “burning desire” to graduate from Georgia State University’s Perimeter College.
At one point, this meant clocking hours at a donut shop, a retail store and the college’s tutoring lab — all while staying on top of a demanding class schedule and acting in school plays.
Lizann Gibson heads up the Learning and Tutoring Center (LTC) at Georgia State’s Alpharetta Campus, where Mondesir has attended classes. She hired him as a part-time student assistant after he moved from Connecticut to Georgia to live with extended relatives and explore opportunities.
“For the past two years, I have watched him mature and set his sights on an attainable goal,” Gibson said of Mondesir’s aim to graduate without student loans.
“He has worked up to three and four jobs at a time — including hours at the Alpharetta LTC, the school’s bookstore, Walmart and at the Clarkston Campus TRIO program, while taking classes in Alpharetta and commuting to Perimeter’s Dunwoody and Clarkston campuses for theater classes and play rehearsals.”
Mondesir, 25, says he wasn’t always as focused and driven. He tried college after high school, but eventually dropped out, started working full time and fell into a rut.
“I was working full time, when I really just wanted to focus on school,” he recalls. “But God wanted me to do something else.”
Mondesir found that he could work and go to school while attending Perimeter—and get the help he needed academically from the same LTC where he now works.
After graduating from Perimeter, Mondesir plans to transition to Georgia State’s Atlanta Campus and continue his studies as a theater major.
“I’m a Panther at heart,” he says.