MOBILE, Ala. – “I stopped making excuses for why I was not in college and started asking myself why I was not in college,” says Samuel Richardson, a December 2022 graduate of the University of Mobile.
From pipe welder to a P.E. teacher, Samuel Richardson is no ordinary individual.
He recalls a time when he did not feel smart enough to succeed, a time where he felt inadequate. However, through the inspiration of his family, Richardson decided to go back to college and pursue his calling to be a teacher. He did this while working full-time as a pipe welder at Austal USA, a global ship builder and defense prime contractor headquartered in Mobile, Alabama, just 10 minutes from the UM campus.
Richardson graduated from the Christ-centered university in December 2022, earning a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with physical education teacher certification. He plans on using his degree to become a full-time P.E. teacher at a local school system.
“It is not an easy task. I had to really push myself, especially through the exhaustion,” Richardson says.
It was difficult at times to maintain his rigorous schedule. As a full-time student and a full-time employee, he was on the go for up to 20 hours a day. During his final semester, Richardson would begin his day by student teaching, then head to work the night shift at Austal. Most days he would not get home until 1:30 in the morning.
However, for Richardson, the journey was just as great as the destination. He believes that if you are willing to make sacrifices, you will see the change that you are pursuing.
When asked specifically about his time at UM, Richardson could not stop smiling. He feels like he is part of the family here and that, no matter what, his professors in the School of Health and Sports Science and the School of Education would always be there for him.
“Being at the University of Mobile gave me more confidence than I know what to do with. My professors would not let me slack off; they were always there to cheer me on and celebrate with me when I succeeded,” he says.
Not only did Richardson succeed, but he went above and beyond. He graduated a semester early and, during multiple semesters at UM, he made the dean’s list. Also, he recently passed his edTPA exam and received certification to be a teacher.
“Receiving my degree is the best 40th birthday present that I could ever ask for. I cannot wait to pour into the kids that I will teach and instill in them the confidence that they, too, can accomplish anything when they set their mind to it,” says Richardson.
About the University of Mobile
The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university offering on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.
For information about the University of Mobile, areas of study, admissions and more, visit umobile.edu, connect with UM on social media @univofmobile, or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.