Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2021 graduates.
David Bradley started his educational journey at ASU Online with the goal of a Bachelor of Science in sociology. His goal was to work in social work or the nonprofit sector and believed this degree was the best pathway to get there. Through his classes, he began to digest the vast array of social issues combating the world and how extremely limited the resources were to tackle these topics, especially in social work and the non-profit sector. “I slowly realized that resources and money were extremely important to create real change and uplift communities. I enjoyed my studies in sociology and continued it as a minor, but I really wanted to be a leader that could take action in the social issues I cared about.”
That’s when Bradley decided to change his focus and pursue a Bachelor of Arts in organizational leadership to attain the skills necessary to bring the right people to the table to make an impact that matched his goals. “Knowing the capacity for-profit organizations have to do good in this world if they only moved their resources to social responsibility would be astronomical compared to the limited resources that social work has available to them. That’s where I wanted to be, helping businesses take action and be a part of fixing an issue.”
Bradley credits his Starbucks store manager, Guy Tustin, with helping him make a college degree a reality. “He was assertive, in an enduring way," Bradley said. "He wanted me to go to school. He sat down, explained how the SCAP program worked and helped me fill out the form to talk to an SCAP enrollment coach. I always wanted to achieve a degree in higher education, but my manager took any doubt I had and helped me forge my pathway.”
Bradley’s favorite aspect about being a Sun Devil was the open access he had to his education, 24/7, especially in the last year. When the pandemic hit last year, many of his friends and family had their education journey disrupted. The majority of those systems needed to switch to an online setting. “I felt no extra pressure from the pandemic in regard to my educational journey. All I needed to do was open my laptop and show up ready to learn, like I had in the years prior.”
Bradley stayed connected with fellow students via Handshake, Sun Devil’s Connect, the ASU Online subreddit and The Facebook Workplace SCAP Scholars page. “It helped with preparing for class and keeping me motivated.”
For those thinking about attending ASU Online via the Starbucks College Achievement Program, Bradley says higher education not only helps you earn a degree in something you want to pursue, but it is also a tool that can create the next best version of yourself. “I believe the power of higher education can transform your life path and your general outcome as a human being. I would not be where I am as a leader if it wasn’t for school.”