DECATUR, Ga. — Two years ago, Akalah Favors was working almost 18 hours a day in three part-time jobs. She was making money — but saw no future for her life.
“I knew I deserved better for myself,” she said.
She knew she needed to go to college.
On May 11, Favors will receive her associate degree at the Georgia State University Perimeter College commencement ceremony. She’ll graduate with a 3.6 GPA and a plan to achieve her career goals — helping the LGBT community combat mental health issues, harassment and bullying.
To an outsider, it might seem Favors’ journey from part-time jobs to college was effortless. That wasn’t the case, she said.
When she graduated from high school in 2012, she went right into the workforce because she felt she wouldn’t succeed in college.
“I always thought I wasn’t smart enough for college because of my speech impediment and struggles with dyslexia,” she said.
She started working right away. By the end of 2015, she was “mentally and physically exhausted with the work.” She needed a fresh start.
Favors came to Georgia State’s Decatur Campus in 2016. At first, it was difficult, she said. But she was dedicated to succeeding.
After her beloved grandmother had brain surgery for an aneurysm in October, she became more determined than ever to graduate, she said. She was invited to join Phi Theta Kappa honor society and was named a delegate to the national convention.
Favors has been accepted to Georgia Southern University, where she hopes to major in sociology and gender studies as she pursues her bachelor’s degree.
“I want to help people who suffer from mental health issues and provide a place for listening, resources and support for people and have a positive impact on their lives,” she said.