Saturday, May 23, 2015

Grad, ulations

Sunday was a day of graduation and celebration for our families. My sister's son, Corey, graduated from Oklahoma City University's Law School.  Soon after passing his bar exam he will become a full-time trial lawyer.

As an aunt observing his life, I've most admired his tenacious focus and energy to train for a fit life through nutrition and workouts. Corey most often reflects my father's tenaciousness and perseverance.  Dad had to overcome crippling scars from burns to his arms as a teenager, and he did so without an education but with determination to do better in his life.  My father was faced with being a janitor or some menial job for a man with deformed clubbed hands.  Instead, with the help of therapy in the form of a golf club, my father excelled at playing golf competitively and eventually becoming a respected member of the South Central PGA.  Teaching the game of golf became a
passion and my father studied the best, so he could be the best teacher. 

Corey found himself drifting in life after barely graduating from high school.  "Aunt Letty, I felt stagnant. I was not bettering myself.  I wanted to be a hockey star, but I couldn't even focus on that, and I certainly didn’t believe in myself." Then one day he was drug into a street fight, struggling to get out alive, when he was slammed in the head with a baseball bat.  "Luckily," he said, "I have a really hard head."  His initial thought was people like those guys out to be in prison and off the streets, so they don't kill others.  

Soon after being battered by a gang member Corey explained that he thought it finally knocked some sense into his head.  "That fall I enrolled Rose State with the plan to build my failing grades into a respectable transcript.  The first test I studied harder than I ever had in my life.  I earned a "D" and thought, well that's better than failing."  He did indeed bring up his grade point, and he began to read biographies about Bruce Lee, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan, and other men who stood above the rest in their field .
After changing directions several times in college, from wanting to be a policeman to criminal justice, he finally realized that studying law was the way he would go.  He graduated from UCO with a degree in political science.  Next, graduating from OCU Law School became his goal. 

Through his law school years he once again made a mental transition from being a prosecuting attorney to a defense attorney.  "I originally blamed the gang member for being such a truly mean angry person, then I realized that I shouldn't have put myself in that situation.  After that I began to realize that not all people who break the law are mean, cruel, and heartless.  I discovered that I could be a great attorney, that I could focus and win an argument."

"Once I realized that I could focus, that I had a brain, I began to
focus on making myself better in every aspect of law and life.  I learned from my losses during school and from my years of playing hockey. I do believe in myself now.  I know that by working hard, diligently doing my homework, I will be the best attorney I can be.  I've learned that it is extremely important to honestly express yourself. Life is a story, and we all have a story to share."     

I'm so proud of Corey and equally proud, like a mother hen, of two other young women attorney's:  Piper Hoskins Bowers (former PHMS student), and Lindsey Weaver Alday (cousin's daughter).  


  1. What a great story! Congratulations to all. Wishing Corey all the best. lbj

  2. So, so proud. Corey just rocks me. He has dug deep and found himself. pwm

  3. Great story!!! Well told. ab

  4. Very impressive--you must be very proud of him. ss

  5. What a great story about a great kid! Congratulations to Corey. nv