How An UMSL Graduate Overcame Life Of Addiction And Gang Involvement, Earned Social Work Degree
St. Louis resident Harold Crawford is among many local college graduates who are celebrating major academic milestones this spring. The path he traveled to get to his University of Missouri-St. Louis degree was an unusual one – and far from easy. Crawford lived through tough times to make ends meet and left a life of crime and gang involvement about a decade ago.
Crawford recalled a saying that one of his teachers would reference from time to time, explaining that getting through college to get back on track was “medicine that you don’t want to take, but you need to take it.” The 37-year-old went on to complete his undergraduate degree in social work.
His education helped his journey towards self-discovery and recognizing trauma within himself, and it also got him grappling with the lack of mental health resources available for treating the trauma that community violence causes.
Now Crawford is focusing on how to move forward and use his degree to help address community violence and protect local youth. He plans to use entrepreneurial and media skills to expand his reach.
Crawford talked about overcoming his adversities and what his degree means to him on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air with guest host Sharon Stevens. Listen to the full discussion:
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is produced by Alex Heuer, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The engineer is Aaron Doerr and the call screener is Charlie McDonald.
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