ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) – Imagine sleeping in your car every night, and each morning putting on a suit to go motivate kids to attend college. This was once the life of Randolph Holly, III of Alexandria.

Randolph Holly, III wearing items from his ‘Mynd of Miami’ clothing line.

“Those are some moments that I feel like I’ll be able to pull from when things get harder down the road,” Randolph says.

The Alexandria Senior High and Southern University graduate is a counselor for Upward Bound, a college-readiness program under the umbrella of Challenging Opportunities for Post-Secondary Education (COPE). Holly had a strong desire to become a fashion designer and marketing extraordinaire. After graduating from college, he wanted to make his dreams a reality.

“I’m a reader. Every day I would be online, reading articles about different people, how they did want they wanted to do and how they got started. I got to the point where I was the one people were reading about and getting inspired by.”

Randolph took a chance, packed everything in his car and headed to California. He had full support from his parents on the move, but lacked the money and connections to live comfortably.

“It was like fourth quarter, game seven of the NBA Finals every day.” Holly says.

On several occasions, Randolph would have to decide between purchasing a hotel room to sleep in, and having enough money to pay for food. He would drive to hotel parking garages and sleep in his car overnight, find a local gas station to get cleaned up, change into a suit and go to work at a local high school as an Upward Bound counselor.

“Just having to make the decision of either spending for a hotel or spending for food, Holly says. “Not spending for the hotel, knowing that you’re going to have to sleep somewhere. That was challenging.”

Things are looking up for Randolph now. While maintaining his counseling job, he continues to pursue his goals as a designer. He’s working on his clothing brand, ‘Mynd of Miami’ and has a series of hats and t-shirts in the works. In addition to the fashion line, Randolph is working in public relations for Nike Drew League, a community basketball program that connects pro-basketball players with college and high school athletes. Most importantly, he now has a place to stay in Los Angeles. Holly has one piece of advice to young people who want to chase their dreams.

“Being here, getting to where I’ve gotten, it’s been because I’m being myself. At the end of the day, that’s all we can be. You can be the best you, or you can pretend to be a lesser somebody else. I think being the best you is the best thing.”

You can keep up with Randolph on Instagram: @frais._myami

Randolph’s father, Randolph Holly II, is the executive director of Upward Bound/COPE Trio in Alexandria. Learn more about the program in the related links.

Source: Google News