Graduate of Ed White High School. Graduate of University of North Florida.
The odds appeared to be against Travis, but he aspired to be one in a million.
Growing up, his father was a drug dealer, and his mother, a drug addict. The family so often had their water service cut off that Travis often went to the tap on the side of the apartment building to get water to drink and bathe.
As a child, he used to look up to drug dealers, but learned to dream of more. That’s because of the influence of his uncle and pastor, who fostered his musical talent and literally gave him the key to success. That key was to the door of a music studio at the church, where Travis learned to use music as an outlet.
But he didn’t truly feel the effects until high school, when he watched a family friend arrested for drug dealing.
“As he was putting him in the police car, the policeman pointed at me and said, ‘You are supposed to be in this car with him. Get as far away as possible from him.’ That guy was living in the next room over to me,” Travis said.
Travis redoubled his efforts to go to college. He took and retook the SAT seven times to get a score high enough to go to UNF.
Now a college graduate and teacher, Travis lives to help other children succeed. He taught second grade and is going back for his masters’ degree in school counseling. Meanwhile, he started a nonprofit with another one of his mentors, Professor Chris Janson at UNF, to bring music to kids longing for the same connection he has had.