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LCC student living life for his children

Tykesh Greenwood

LCC student Tykesh Greenwood is working toward transferring to Michigan State University to earn a PhD in data analytics or data science.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Associate Editor

Having a child is often described as a life-changing experience, but for LCC student Tykesh Greenwood, 32, it was a life-saving experience that continues to push him to fight for a better life.

“I am a first-generation college student with a criminal background,” Greenwood said. “I went in when I was 15, but even after doing all the time at all the different facilities when I got out at 22, I still wasn’t done with the street life.

“Nothing could wake me up but my kids … they woke me up. Not being there to hold them when they cried because I got in more trouble after they were born … I realized it wasn’t about me anymore.”

Greenwood is currently majoring in transfer studies at LCC, hoping to transfer to Michigan State University to pursue a PhD in data analytics or data science while minoring in business psychology.

Greenwood is taking Pre-Calculus, Philosophy and Biology 120 for a total of 13 credits. He currently has 34 transferrable credits. He said he has been on the dean’s list twice in his time at LCC.

“Everything I am doing is so I will be there for my kids whenever they need it,” Greenwood said. “This is all for them, I would have been OK doing what I was doing.

“I could have made a life out of it but that wasn’t the life I was put here to live. The life I was meant to live definitely shouldn’t make the world worse. My kids opened my eyes.”

It’s easy to judge someone when you don’t know their story or their experiences, but a lot of mistakes have reasons – not excuses, just reasons.

“I grew up with no parents,” Greenwood said. “I didn’t meet my dad until a couple years ago. I was raised on how to make nothing but bad investments and I had to teach myself how to invest in myself properly.”

Both of his parents have a long history of being in trouble with the law, leaving Greenwood to be raised mostly by his grandmother, who was snuck into America from Guatemala on a shrimp boat. Through it all, Greenwood kept a fighting spirit.

He said he continues to rely on his intellect to get him where he wants to go.  

“I want to get a cloud computing certification license through Harvard and I got signed up for a Data Science certification through IBM; I hope to get both certifications over the summer,” Greenwood said. “I will leave here and transfer to MSU somewhere, working half the time at home and making $60 to $80 thousand.”

In his corner is his uncle, Samuel Childress, who is there to cheer him on and isn’t afraid to brag a little about his nephew.

“He has gone through a lot of challenges,” Childress said. “Out of all of my nephews, he is the only one that won’t surrender. He works and goes to school; I can’t figure out how he does it.

“Over the last 10 years, I have watched him develop into a completely different man. He seems to have a heart intent on surviving whatever is thrown at him.”

In his spare time, Greenwood likes to read and listen to music. He said he read 11 books over the winter break and is about to reread one of his favorite books, “The Intelligent Investor,” by Benjamin Graham.

“My goal,” Greenwood said, “is to do all the things that people tell themselves are too hard to do and what other people say I can’t do.”

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