The office of Dr john Richmond Jr at Eisenhower High School, “if take your time and you will see the pattern and you will be able to get through it”. Photo Credit: Terrence Mccullough

In the realm of academia, few accomplishments are as revered as the attainment of a doctoral degree. Dr. John Richmond Jr. recently joined the esteemed ranks of Doctors, earning his degree in Education from Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB) in May 2023. His journey was anything but ordinary, marked by perseverance, dedication, and a deep-rooted connection to CSUSB.

Dr. Richmond’s decision to pursue his doctoral degree at CSUSB was not taken lightly. Already familiar with the campus, he had experienced the university’s positive ethos firsthand. “I knew the Cal State system and had a good experience with Cal State San Bernardino,” he explains. This familiarity, coupled with his desire to further his education, led him back to the institution where he obtained his Master’s degree in 2015.

However, Dr. Richmond’s pursuit of a Ph.D. came with its own set of unique challenges. Commencing his doctoral journey during the pandemic meant he had to adapt to remote learning, unable to attend in-person classes. This transition required resilience and determination, qualities that would serve him well in the months to come.

Inspiration struck Dr. Richmond during a transformative trip called “Footsteps to Freedom,” where he delved into the histories of influential African American figures. This immersive experience exposed him to a group of African American individuals, all Ph.D. holders, who left an indelible mark on him. “For me, as an African American male, being around a group of individuals who all had their doctorates was my first exposure to such achievements within the African American community,” he reflects. The trip not only deepened his understanding of African American history but also planted the seeds of aspiration for his own doctoral journey.

Yet, Dr. Richmond’s path was far from smooth. The pandemic-induced shift to online learning disrupted his academic routine, forcing him to navigate the challenges of remote coursework. Additionally, CSUSB’s transition from a quarter system to a semester system altered his educational timeline. His meticulously planned coursework was rearranged, leading to financial stress and logistical adjustments. However, Dr. Richmond’s commitment to his goals remained unwavering.
“I had to pay for an extra two semesters of school, which came out to be $14,000 extra out of my pocket,” he reveals. The financial burden was a shared experience among many in the program, highlighting the resilience of students determined to achieve their academic aspirations despite adversity.

Amidst these challenges, Dr. Richmond persevered, successfully completing his doctoral degree in Education. With this achievement, he now sets his sights on a future as a high school principal and, ultimately, as a director of Special Education in a school district. He also aspires to establish a special education advocacy agency, offering consulting and advocacy services to parents of special needs children. Writing a book on Special Education is another goal close to his heart.

Dr. Richmond’s advice for aspiring scholars is a testament to his journey: “Just take your time and put one foot in front of the other. Continue to move forward and take one class at a time. You will start seeing the pattern and you will be able to get through it.” His story serves as an inspiration, highlighting the resilience and determination of CSUSB’s alumni.

Dr. John Richmond Jr. exemplifies the university’s commitment to fostering success, even in the face of adversity. His journey from student to scholar is a testament to the power of perseverance, and his future endeavors promise to impact the field of education positively. Congratulations to this remarkable leader, and here’s to the bright future ahead.

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