Pellissippi student overcomes odds

by Stephen Gyebison

Pellissippi State student Ivan Freeman did not grow up like most kids. His humble beginning is what keeps him motivated to be where he is at right now, and not on the streets.

Ivan grew up in one of the worst parts of Knoxville. He grew in the Lonsdale Community Homes, an area full of minorities and low-income families. It is a place of gang violence, drug dealing and other activities associated with the ghetto.

“There where some days where me and my family went without food,” said Ivan.  Because of this Ivan and his friends used to steal food from a non-profit ministry called S.O.A.R. Ivan also mentioned being in countless of fights, and how he and his friend Adam Bowman, also a Pellissippi student, were chased by the cops.

Ivan had an opportunity to be adopted by a couple who where workers for the S.O.A.R ministries. “We were 12 when we left Lonsdale. Russ and Kathy Smith took us in, because our home problems where getting bad.”

Ivan and Adam are still close to Russ and Kathy. Ivan recently moved to his own apartment. He is also a shift manager at the Food City by the mall.  “ I look at some of my old friends from Lonsdale and nothing has changed; and I want more for myself. That is what keep me motivated.”

Despite his struggle he never gave up or made any excuses. “My goal  is to finish college,” he said


Friday, April 5th, 2013

“Plump a Pumpkin”;Student Life & Leadership

By: Chance Collins

The Student Life and Leadership Club will be teaming up with Phi Theta Kappa and the Active Black Student Association for “Plump a Pumpkin” Friday, October 30, 2009.

The event will kick off at 9 a.m. and it will run until 3 p.m. with locations being designated as the courtyard and the student lounge located in the Goins Building, Room 146. The event allows students and faculty to enjoy the festive fall season together.

 Director of Student Life and Leadership, Kim Thomas, oversees the student events here on campus and is encouraging all students to participate in the festivities. Thomas said, there will be plenty of games and cash prizes given away throughout the entire event.

Activities for this event include a canned food drive for 2nd Harvest, a costume contest, pumpkin carving, and a pumpkin cook-off. Winners of the Halloween costume contest will receive cash prices in the range of $50, $25 and10$. The club that brings the most canned food goods will also be receiving various prizes.

By: Chance Collins

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009