“You have to enjoy everything God has planned for you along your journey, and remember it’s not just about the final destination.“
Jeremiah Allison has a history of forging his own path. Taking the road less traveled, he was often met with twists and turns and even a few detours. So, how does this non-traditional student go from barely squeaking out a high school diploma to being recognized as the Hankamer School of Business 2020 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship?
Growing up, Jeremiah was surrounded by a spirit of entrepreneurship, even though he didn’t realize it at the time. Jeremiah’s dad was self-employed; his grandma operated her own music agency; one uncle made a living working in lawn-care and landscaping; another uncle ran a successful IT company. As Jeremiah puts it, “I can clearly see now that there is definitely some entrepreneurial DNA in me.”
Jeremiah graduated Round Rock High School in 2009 through a program called Success. On the verge of dropping out, the self-paced program allowed Jeremiah to take evening classes to fulfill his graduation requirements while working full time during the day.
Throughout his early adult years, the self described partier jumped around from job to job. Jeremiah explains that he was always a hard worker, but just lacked purpose. He was searching for a sort of inner peace to ground him.
By the time he was twenty-two, Jeremiah had several outstanding warrants for his arrest and had a suspended driver’s license. Low on money and out of options, Jeremiah and a friend hopped on a Greyhound bus for a one-way trip to California to work on a cannabis farm. In California Jeremiah was able to save enough cash so that he could return to Texas and settle his legal issues. This was a turning point for Jeremiah. Back in Texas, he got a full-time job, paid off his debts and even enrolled in a local community college. There was still something missing. Jeremiah lacked a vision. He was missing purpose.
During the fall of 2014 Jeremiah’s life veered in a completely new direction. He started going to church and even joined a life group. By November, Jeremiah gave his life to Jesus and felt a passion to be a man of God in the marketplace. Jeremiah found his purpose.
As Jeremiah wrapped up his course work at the local community college, his plan was to transfer to University of Houston to continue his studies, but a mentor planted the seed to pursue a degree at Baylor University. With prayer, scholarships and a few twists and turns, Jeremiah started class as a Baylor Bear in the fall of 2017.
Jeremiah had two options for his Baylor degree plan. He could select one major and graduate in two years, or a dual-major and graduate in two and a half to three years. Jeremiah chose a single Finance major. That was a solid plan until Entrepreneurship Professor Tyler Self told Jeremiah about an opportunity for entrepreneurship majors/minors to earn additional scholarship monies. Jeremiah felt God asking, who have I made you to be?
With his entrepreneurial DNA becoming more apparent, Jeremiah changed directions to pursue a dual-major of Finance and Entrepreneurship. Jeremiah jumped in feet first in the Entrepreneurship department by serving on the Entrepreneurship Student Advisory board and also volunteering with departmental events such as the New Venture Competition and Texas Family Business Awards.
Jeremiah was recognized as the 2020 Outstanding Student in Entrepreneurship during his final semester at Baylor. A semester full of promises of new beginnings, however, took a very odd turn when COVID-19 changed everything. There were no final handshakes or goodbyes and even graduation was postponed to a later date. But to Jeremiah, what really matters is that he found his calling and his passion. He found his purpose. Jeremiah sums up his experience, “You have to enjoy everything God has planned for you along your journey, and remember it’s not just about the final destination.”
After Jeremiah completes his coursework at Baylor, he and his wife will follow an entrepreneurial path to join his dad at Intralife in Houston, Texas. Jeremiah is excited to use his classwork experience in real-time situations. Ultimately, the duo feels a calling for long-term mission work overseas. But Jeremiah explains, “For now, we are going to enjoy our journey and everything that God has planned for us in Houston.”
Following a road less traveled, indeed. Sic ‘em!
For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.