Sometimes a single experience can change your life. For urban studies major Terrell Hurst, working for the Arline Institute, an educational consulting firm that offered a free tutoring service to underperforming schools, forever altered his life’s course. The experience exposed Terrell to outreach work in urban communities, and it continues to be an important motivating factor for him. “Working with the Arline Institute really helped me to develop my passion,” he says. “I discovered skills I didn’t know I had!” In 2006, Terrell started as an assistant to the marketing director, and quickly worked his way up the ranks, eventually landing the job of Senior Marketing Director. Through his work, he served over 10,000 children in the mid-Atlantic region, and had the opportunity to tutor children himself. “It was an eye-opener. I learned how much of a need there was for what I was promoting. I learned that everything starts with education.”
While working for the Arline Institute, Terrell earned his associate’s degree in business administration from Camden County College. In 2012, Terrell decided to leave the Arline Institute and pursue his bachelor’s degree, and enrolled at Rutgers-Camden in Spring 2013. He originally planned to pursue a degree in business, but stumbled upon the urban studies major while searching the school’s website. He was immediately intrigued by the major, and decided to register for some urban studies classes. He found he really enjoyed the interdisciplinary nature of the program and the application of the material to real-life situations. “Urban studies made me realize I can apply myself in lots of different ways,” Terrell says.
In particular, the classes that had the biggest affect on Terrell were “Introduction to Urban Studies,” taught by Ms. Suzanne Dayanim, Lecturer of Urban Studies;”Energy and the Environment,” taught by Mr. Michael Schwebel, Lecturer of Urban Studies; “Camden and the Greater Philadelphia Region,” taught by Dr. Paul Jargowsky, Professor of Public Policy and Administration and Director of the Center for Urban Research and Education (CURE); and the international studies course “Special Topics: Urban Politics and Community Service in South Africa,” taught by Dr. Maureen Donaghy, Assistant Professor of Political Science. He felt inspired by all these courses, but in particular he calls the South African course “life-changing.” The first one in his family to go to Africa, Terrell says the trip made him truly appreciative of what he has and fueled a desire in him to build and rebuild communities, both nationally and internationally. Having the chance to go into the community and work with children at places like Nkosi’s Haven, an HIV/AIDS home for affected mothers and their children, made a profound difference in his life. The course motivated Terrell to obtain both a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in community development. Terrell’s also considering obtaining a master’s degree in Africana Studies and eventually return to South Africa, where he’d like to work with children so that they, too, can achieve their dreams.
Not one to be idle, in addition to finishing his urban studies degree, Terrell is laying the groundwork for Hurst Services, an organization which will offer a broad range of urban services to urban communities, especially in educational services to youth and adults. Clearly, his experiences with the Arline Institute and in South African have completely changed his world, inspiring him to help people around the world attain their goals.
About Terrell Hurst
Hometown: Camden, New Jersey
Major: Urban Studies
Expected Camden College of Arts and Sciences Graduation Date: May 2015
Written By Julie Roncinske