Myron Oates – Class of ‘06

College: University of Missouri – KC – 2012
Degree: BA in Liberal Arts
Current Occupation: Merchandiser at Major Brands, law student
Advanced Degree: Working towards JD at University of Missouri – Columbia
Expected Graduation Date: 2024

Who or what at UA had the greatest impact on where you are today? Why?
UA’s focus on critical thinking and research which permeated the curriculum had a huge impact. Additionally, the willingness of several teachers to go in depth on black history, correlating it with human history and current events, influenced how I saw myself in the world.

How have you utilized the education you received (or the skills you learned) at UA?
Graduating from UA was a very demanding task that required perseverance, time management, and discipline. Those traits translated well into life as I attended college, then later joined the full time work force, and now as I prepare to enter law school. I have been well equipped for the war of attrition that is life.

How is your experience at UA impacting you now?
My experience at UA has come full circle, as I am serving on the Alumni Council. Working as an ambassador for UA has allowed me to build and/or maintain relationships with various members of the greater UA community, and stay involved with future generations of alumni.

What if you chose to attend a school other than UA? Do you think you would be in the same place?
As one of the original students when UA opened its doors in 2000, I don’t believe my experience at UA can be duplicated. Being a part of building something has created a bond with former classmates and staff that has endured through the years.

How has UA Foundation (formerly Friends of UA) impacted you and/or where you are today?
Personally, UA Foundation has been an excellent support system post-graduation. From the CIP (College Incentive Program), to sitting with me and helping me refine my resume after college.

What are your goals for the future and who/what has shaped them?

My short term goal is to earn my JD. My long term goal is to use my position to serve as both a motivation and resource to those around me. I have always been humbled by the many people who have created opportunities for me throughout life. I want to do my part in ensuring that the opportunities that I received come around for people more frequently.

What are you doing to stay connected to UA and your fellow alums?
I keep up with a lot of people from UA via social media, personal phone, and e-mail. I also enjoyed the UA Foundation hosted Monday Mixers, and look forward to attending those once again.

What would you like to say to the donors who give to programs like study abroad, CIP, dual credit courses, etc.?
While earning my undergraduate degree, the country fell into a recession and I lost my home. This reality, along with several other personal tragedies, discouraged me, and took my focus off of academics. The CIP program, and even the care packages around test time, were very helpful in providing some relief in a needed time.

Anything else you’d like to share to be included in the spotlight?
I recently jumped out on a limb and decided to go back to school after nearly a decade. I received a wave of support from former classmates, our superintendent, UA Foundation, multiple board members, and many others with no questions asked. This community that we have built has had great impact in the lives of many of us, and has the capacity to become much greater. Salute to all of those who build with us.