Charter Alumni Spotlight: Arion Coleman
August 02, 2021
Each month, the GVSU Charter Schools Office spotlights a current GVSU student who graduated from a GVSU-authorized charter public school.
This month, we are pleased to introduce you to Arion Coleman. Arion is a junior at GVSU and is studying finance. Prior to coming to GVSU, Arion graduated from University Prep Science and Math (UPSM) High School in Detroit.
Outside of class, Arion is highly engaged in the Laker community. He currently works as a building manager at the Russel H. Kirkhof Center. He is also a member of various student organizations, including Black Male Scholars, Impact the Movement, and Black Excellence Orientation.
Arion recently took some time to share a little more about how his experiences have shaped where he is at today.
What did you like about UPSM High School?
The teachers at UPSM really cared about the students and wanted to see them succeed in school. They were committed to really creating a bond with us and wanted to see us grow. They would also offer 1-on-1 sessions and stay close with families to stay informed on how everybody was doing.
How did UPSM High School help you prepare for life after you graduated?
There was a teacher, Mr. Roby, who would have students meet in the gym and ask us questions about life in general. He showed me that I had to take stuff seriously, and made me think about what I wanted to do with my life. Those conversations reminded me how much I needed to remember to stay focused on my goals.
What advice would you give to current students at UPSM High School who are preparing for life after high school?
I want to provide some background before I answer that. My mom passed away when I was still in high school. My dad hasn’t been in my life, so when I was a senior in high school it was suddenly just me and my sister. When my mom passed, I knew that I had to keep doing the things she would want me to do to succeed, no matter how tough it was. I use that as my motivation every day.
So, if I were to speak with current students, I’d tell them that I don’t want them to be discouraged by what’s going on right now. There are so many kids like me who are going through the same things I’ve been through. And it’s important that they don’t look back, because no matter what happened, there is no way that they can let it stop them from becoming the person they want to be.
When did you first learn about GVSU? What was appealing about coming here?
I learned about GVSU in 10th grade when I came to College Prep Week. As soon as you come here, you get a family-oriented feeling, no matter where you come from. It felt like if I came here there was no way I could fail because there would always be somebody who will know you and will be willing to help. The Charter Schools Office showed me what college was really about, that the bonds with people and faculty or staff here can last a lifetime.
What have you enjoyed so far at GVSU?
I’ve liked the student organizations, and the classes are great. The teachers and atmosphere too. I enjoy seeing all the people I know as well as something new every day. Nothing stays the same, but I love it. The counselors are amazing too. You have to be able to talk to them because they will help you find the answers you need.
How is GVSU helping you move closer to your goals, either academically or professionally?
I’m already connecting with companies that I didn’t think I’d connect with at this point. GVSU offers a lot of career fairs, and I was completely surprised by all the different companies that participate in those.
What type of goals do you have for yourself once you graduate?
I want to be hired as an investment banker or find a role that is closely related to the supply chain. Ultimately, just keep growing and moving forward.