Regent Alumnus and Student at Harvard Divinity School
"People, especially kids, need more than clichés. My training at Regent gave me a meaningful way to express my empathy - which is passion and compassion combined - and they could feel the authenticity of it."
Cedric Rucker will be the first to tell you: when a door opens, pay attention – there may be a surprise on the other side. The former Navy intelligence specialist says his 15-foot fall down a hatch on a submarine in 1996 became a metaphor for his life. Cedric was physically unhurt – but the close call made him re-evaluate where he was headed. “I knew I wanted to be in ministry and work with kids. I also knew I needed to go deeper to really make a difference.”
After leaving the Navy and finishing his undergraduate degree, Cedric decided to pursue an M.A. in Counseling. Regent was his first and only choice. “I learned about the university from a friend, and I was really impressed,” he says. “The integration of faith and academic excellence really appealed to me.” During his time at Regent, Rucker worked in a youth program at his church and was employed at a local alternative school and residential treatment program for troubled youth. “People, especially kids, need more than clichés,” he says. “My training at Regent gave me a meaningful way to express my empathy – which is passion and compassion combined – and they could feel the authenticity of it.”
Rucker says it’s impossible to overstate the importance of Regent’s focus on practicum hours and internships. “First of all, your professors bring a real-world focus to the classroom and then you are personally out in a real-world setting using the skills you’ve been taught.” What’s next for Cedric Rucker? Eventually, he’d like to open a residential care facility for at-risk children. But first, it’s on to Harvard Divinity School. Is he excited about joining the Ivy League? “I am,” he says. “But to tell you the truth, that’s how I think about Regent. I feel very prepared for what’s next. With the counseling background I’m bringing with me, I think I can be a real agent for positive change.”