Tommie McMullen grew up in Toledo, Ohio. He attended Libbey High School and was on the verge of graduating in 2002.
He had a 4.2 GPA, but had difficulty with the math section of the Ohio Graduation Test. He failed by just a few points and since passing all sections of the exam is a requirement for graduation, he was unable to graduate with his class.
He didn't give up and was determined to earn his diploma. He worked during the day and attended night classes throughout the summer. In 2003, he sat for the exam again.
Sadly, when the results came in he was still just a few points shy. In 2004, he successfully passed the exam and enrolled at Owens Community College.
The advisors at Owens were able to work with him and help him focus on a career choice and classes that worked for him.
"I love Owens. My professors worked in our field and were able to teach us the tools and the knowledge to succeed," said McMullen.
He graduated in 2006 and was able to participate in his first graduation ceremony.
"For me, the chance to walk was the best part," he said.
After graduation, McMullen worked at Volunteers of America for two years and then took a job at Ohio
He works with individuals who were sentenced to time in a halfway house or were recently released from jail or detention center that need to spend time in a halfway house.
"Owens opened doors to more opportunities for me. I know how hard it can be to continue to strive toward an education and I always encourage our clients to do the same." said McMullen.
He is currently working on his bachelor's degree in criminal justice with a focus on forensics. When he graduates, he would like to further his criminal justice career and begin working in a forensics lab.