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My Name is Anthony Dandie A.D. - After Decision
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My name is Anthony Dandie A.D. - After Decision.

I am merely a man, but because of the blessings of the Lord, I am many things: I am a scholar; as of this past June, I am a university grad twice over with a degree in Human Kinetics and a Bachelor of Education. I am an athlete; a high school football star and 3-time OFSAA medallist, Canadian junior national medallist, 2-time CIS medallist and All-Canadian in track and field. I am a brother; I'm paving the way for my siblings by being credited with the first two degrees my family has ever seen as all three of them now pursue post-secondary education.

I've been Anthony BC - Before Christ. I've been homeless. I've felt hopeless. I've been down on myself. I've been disappointed. I've been concerned about my future. I've been all of these things, and believe me, I have not begun to scratch the surface, but I have become stronger since my transformation. Having moved away from my family - a result of the loss of our home when I was sixteen - I was exposed to challenges that most teenagers are not. Because of the kindness and generosity of friends and their families, I was able to remain at my high school, graduate, and earn one of the first official athletic scholarships awarded to a university student in Ontario.

I think of myself as an accomplished individual in some areas of life, but no accolade credited to my name is as significant as one which there is no paper or electronic record of, nor is there a plaque or a medal to signify it. One spring evening in 2007 at Meadowood Pentacostal Church, just on the outskirts of Branford, Ontario, where I grew up, I stepped into the water and gave my life to the Lord. I come from a family that was church-going with strong moral foundations, but this was a step that I chose for myself, after moving out, with no pressure - just a desire to have the Lord be a greater part of my life and my being.

My philosophy is that although we are all growing and maturing in some regard, the ability to truly progress in life is a conscious decision. I affiliate this progression with the notion of being able to sacrifice what you are for what you could become. When we make life decisions, we are constantly letting go of some element (whether it be people, possessions, etc.) and putting on the new self, along with which comes new circumstances. Hopefully these circumstances are better ones, however that is a product of the choices made. I made the choice to give my life to God because I knew that the challenges I would face in years to come were nothing in comparison to the ones I had overcome in high school. I needed to become stronger, and I became stronger through Christ.

Will I ever experience some of the things that Anthony BC did? Hardships and disappointment and temptations? Of course. The world hasn't changed. The difference now, is that I have Jesus walking with me each and every step of the way. Despite my struggles in making these successes possible, I shall continue to let the Holy Spirit guide me in my walk of life. Everything I have, everything I've accomplished, everything I am - I owe it to Him. Faith requires great patience. To be patient is to be faithful. It's not always easy, but this is a part of my relationship with God that I'm constantly growing in.

Now, as I aspire to change the face of education in Ontario by bringing morality and values to the classroom and integrating these things with the curriculum, I reflect on the many blessings I have received during my journey from Anthony B.C. to Anthony A.D. The journey continues under His guidance...but first, another debt-inducing step, grad school!