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Fall 2023 The Blossom Law Caregiver Scholarship Winner

Tydearian Cocroft

Tydearian’s essay about caring for his nephew could not have been a better example of what this scholarship is all about. We are extremely proud of him and honored to present him with the Fall 2023 Blossom Law Caregiver Scholarship.

Tydearian Cocroft

Read Tydearian's Essay:

Before starting my MBA program, I had recently taken in my, at the time, 9-year-old nephew for a year. My nephew is the son of an incarcerated black woman given an absurd sentencing that has altered not only her life but her sons. In my family, living with kin isn’t uncommon and in fact in most cases it’s encouraged. I noticed my mother, who took care of my nephew after my sisters incarceration, struggling to maintain and pay bills along with caring for a child. This would eventually lead to my mother being without a home for several years, so I stepped up admittedly hesitant at first. My hesitation stemmed from my comfortability with the life I had created for myself but I’ve always believed in putting those who need it most first.

Upon moving to DC, I worked as a Corps Member for City Year at Ketcham Elementary. In that moment I noticed similarities to my upbringing and those students that I served. This is what initially motivated to ensure that I gave my nieces and nephews at least somewhat of what I believed every child should experience. So, the time comes for my nephew to move in with me and I instantly remembered why I worked so hard to achieve higher, the kids are watching. Although it took more than I had, I moved us into an apartment and ensured I did what I could to set us up for success. My nephew would get to experience a big city, much bigger than our hometown Bradenton, Florida, the ability to play football and go to a championship game, and even get to go to the White House for the annual easter egg roll.

The moments where my nephew and I shared laughs, cried together, assisting him with connecting the family tree and even having conversations about the things he could be in the world. To see a child who not only has a mother incarcerated and a father not in his life, it warmed my heart to see a child with still so much heart and charisma. It was a reminder that we must nurture the future and the situation also helped me become more responsible. For a time, gone were the days of staying out late and just going to a bar but instead going to TopGolf, visiting museums, and painting by the Potomac River.

Growing up, we didn’t have much and for a time I got to make up what I didn’t by giving my nephew not only what we didn’t but some of the things he really wanted. I also got the chance to introduce him to individuals who I consider colleagues and peers that have shaped who I have become today. In the small town of Bradenton, Florida where injustice thrives in so many different facets, we haven’t been so fortunate. A year caring for a child not only opened my eyes to trickle down effects of your environment but how we must ensure that we provide the appropriate space for minds to grow and be nurtured. As I noticed my other nieces and nephews not receiving the same attention as mine, I realized one of the most inspiring things we can do for children is showing them how to show up for others.

As I sit and think of how I approach the future it is clear to me that intention stands to be the most important. My long-term goals have always been about the idea that I could provide more for my family and somewhere along the way, those dreams seemed distant. Caring for my nephew gave me a reminder that whenever I saw that big cheesy smile, that some children don’t deserve the situation they are brought into, so some are hoping that people show up for them. There are things like a child wanting their own room, another sibling, to wake up on Christmas with presents under the tree, to see their favorite movies and play dress up, and the ability to express themselves without fear of punishment. This was the environment I was determined to create for him during the time being because why should he have to suffer? When do those who need saving get saved?

As I prepare for my future as a business leader it is important that I think about those who need the resources the most. It is important that in practice, we always remain ethical due to a potential to encounter individuals who are in predicaments they had no control over. Where I continue a career in government, or pursue a private sector role, knowing how I impact those around will not only provide others joy but it will allow me to create change effectively and with purpose.

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