jump to example.com

Virginia Tech student’s determination inspires

virginia tech gucci livingston

Gucci Livingston and his son Jaiden have traveled a nontraditional path to get to Virginia Tech, but the single father’s dedication to his education, his son, and their future is leaving a mark on this university.

In the fall of 2012, Lamont “Gucci” Livingston was a first-year engineering student at Virginia Tech on scholarship and breezing through his first semester with a 3.0 GPA.

Two weeks into spring semester, Livingston got news that changed the trajectory of his college experience. His girlfriend was pregnant.

The spring semester brought more challenges than the fall, and what was happening at home kept Livingston from the success he needed to maintain his scholarship. Without a scholarship, he couldn’t stay at Virginia Tech.

Livingston headed home, but, four months after his son was born, he found himself homeless. Livingston spent the next year-and-a-half working and house-hopping in Newport News and Hampton, Virginia, all while having joint custody of his son.

But his 3-year-old son, Jaiden William Malik Livingston, is his pride and joy.

In the summer of 2015, Livingston returned to Blacksburg to work and fight his way back to Virginia Tech. He and Jaiden were sleeping on a friend’s couch each night, but he restarted classes again in the fall of 2015.

“I was determined to return with a vengeance and return with a mission — not only to make a way for myself but to pave a way for those coming behind me,” said Livingston. “It became much bigger than me. I could no longer just make choices for me. It was for us.”

Unable to pay for childcare, Livingston not only brought along his new-found tenacity to class — he also brought Jaiden. Every group project, every club and organization, every visit to the Black Cultural Center — his little Hokie was there.

By spring 2016, Livingston defied all odds and made it onto the Dean’s List. He and Jaiden got a room in an apartment, no longer sharing a couch each night. This past fall, Livingston was approved for childcare. Since returning to Virginia Tech, he raised his cumulative GPA to a 2.65.

“We all deserve to be here if we made it here,” Livingston said.

In February 2017, Livingston was awarded a Division of Student Affairs Aspire! Award, honoring a student who is preparing for a life of courageous leadership. The award recognized the courage Livingston displays in his dedication to his son, his work, his education, and his legacy.

Livingston is a single father, on track to graduate next May with a degree in packaging systems and design in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. He’s a leader in multiple student organizations and working both night and day shifts to support his family. Day in and day out, his son watches his father work toward his dreams.

“I second-guessed myself every day, but my son’s face was all I could see when I wanted to give up,” Livingston said. “Knowing that it could be done gave me the fight to finish.”

Discussion
 
Recent Posts
 
Your One-Stop Media Shop
Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including web design, magazine/brochure, TV/radio, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation.
  • Web Design

    You want a new website, but don’t have the first clue as to how to build one. That’s our job. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design and content development. Get your business online for as little as $1,299.
    Learn more about AFP Web Design services.
  • Graphic Design

    The staff at Augusta Free Press Publishing has been recognized by the Virginia Press Association for excellence in layout and design. Whether you need a fresh business card design, rack card, ad, flyer or full magazine design, we can help with all your graphic-design needs.
    Learn more about AFP Graphic Design services.
  • Marketing

    Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.
    Learn more about AFP Marketing services.