At “22 years young,” Renorldo has a crystal clear vision for his future. “In five years, I hope to be the next Warren Buffet,” he shares.
“The company you keep has a lot to do with the outcome you will see. You can’t let your environment get the best of you. You have to surround yourself with people who have goals and want to do good things. Not that having a good time is all bad, but you have to have balance,” he shares. “I want to lead by example.”
When he was 18 years old, Renorldo moved back to the Seattle area with his mom. He wanted to finish high school, and was referred to the Federal Way Open Doors program where he worked with an MSC case manager on achieving his goals and obtaining his high school diploma.
Renorldo had moved around a lot as a kid, and when his mom once again was moving shortly after they arrived here, he decided to stay in Federal Way. “It was a life-changing decision for me, I knew this was where I needed to be.”
Renorldo was the first Open Doors student in a new tuition waiver program and co-enrolled at Bates College in its barber class. “The tuition waiver was a success story for me and for them. It’s really a way to engage kids in something they want to do while they are also getting their high school diploma,” shared Renorldo.
Since then, Renorldo has earned his high school diploma and has begun taking classes in Highline’s small business and entrepreneurship program. He’s already opened a t-shirt shop and wants to open a barber shop in the future.
His strong entrepreneurial spirit is accompanied by a desire to spark the same energy and excitement in other youth. He hopes to achieve this by incorporating an incubator program into his business where youth can have the space and inspiration to do productive things with their lives.
Renorldo recently joined the MSC staff as an AmeriCorps volunteer helping youth obtain their GED, get enrolled in college, and with job-readiness training. He wants youth to know they have options. “I want to hear more success stories by helping them get their minds working and allowing them to exercise their own voices,” says Renorldo.
MSC and Federal Way Open Doors partner to reengage students ages 16 to 21 and support them in obtaining their High School Diploma or GED Certificate. MSC has dedicated staff at Open Doors who work with students to achieve their academic and personal goals, provide individualized learning plans and other GEDplus supports, provide comprehensive case management, connection to community resources, post-secondary planning, and positive youth development opportunities such as field trips and leadership activities.