Life is a journey. We’ve heard that adage many times. Some of it you travel with family, neighbors, friends, classmates, co-workers, and even not-so-friendly folks. Yet, some of it you travel alone. Sometimes, that stint is needed for growth and sometimes, it’s just plain lonely. Whatever the reason for the paths we walk alone, it sure feels great when you’re greeted and embraced by a welcoming face or two. That is what Jalen Page found here at Louisiana Delta Community College.
Jalen Page was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, but also lived a stint in Florida before returning home. His dad worked in the forestry industry and relocation sometimes came with it. Page is the oldest of three children. He has a brother and a sister. Page said even though they lived in small towns, his mom always said, “It’s good that you’re here, but I want you to get outside of Monroe and explore the world.”
Early on in school, Page played sports. He was pretty good in basketball, by his own admission. He dreamed, like many young boys, of becoming a famous NBA player. Page laid that dream aside after moving from Florida back to Alexandria because he wasn’t a part of a team anymore and wasn’t practicing his skills. Eventually, the Page family moved to Monroe, a little worn and somewhat fragmented. Page’s mom and siblings remained in tow but Page’s father was taking a different path.
Page began to realize other interests outside of basketball. He discovered he liked music, acting, and later developed an appreciation for his gift of song. “I was in the church choir ever since I was little and I noticed it, but other people also noticed that I had a really nice voice,” shares Page with the biggest aura of pride beaming out of his eyes and dancing off of his lips.
When asked about his aspirations here at LDCC, Page replied he wants to study to become a “business techy.” He has a curiosity and inclination towards playing and making games, but he also wants to shore up his speaking skills and learn more about music through Music Appreciation. There are a host of things on his checklist to learn. “I know I need to learn how to budget, how to save money and take care of my money,” says Page.
Beyond LDCC, Page says he knows he will be a much more confident person. He explains he is extremely shy but is getting better thanks to a little help from some fast friends made in LDCC’s Anime Club and the Student Government Association (SGA). “From the first day I arrived here, I was so to myself; but I joined the SGA and the Anime Club. They accepted me and I really enjoy myself when I’m with them,” explains Page. “I found friends in those clubs. They make me laugh and they encourage me. Ms. Salter [Club Advisor] encourages me, as well.” It’s because of this, Page says he will be going on to university life upon completion of his studies here at LDCC. He is stepping into a new level of confidence and uncovering abilities. “This was the right place for me,” says Page.
Costs played a large part in his decision to attend LDCC. Page and his mom compared tuition from a local university against LDCC’s and began leaning towards this institution. Page says when he was a part of Chase Academy, he toured LDCC. He says he learned about the benefits of smaller classes while still getting a solid education. “The smaller classes definitely work best for me,” shares Page.” “I then made the decision to come here. Since enrolling, Ms. Hodgkins in the tutoring center has been amazing. I’m so glad I’m here!”
A major part of the reason Page is here is because of his mom. Says Page, “My mom.., Wow! She’s like a Superwoman. If Super Woman were an actual person, it would be her.” With a well of emotion and no signs of shyness, Page expresses how much his mom has had to face as a single parent and how every decision is made thinking of her children first. “She is my heart and number one supporter,” says Page. Of his dad, Page says, “I love my dad and at one time, he was a really good dad.”
Life is a journey. Every juncture may not be forecast and every path smooth, but the people we are and the people we meet can help make the travel better. That’s part of the mission at LDCC, advancing “community.” Best of luck to you, Jalen Page and the Page family!