Far from the confidant veteran professor who strolls the Pierce College campus today, when James McKeever was 18 years old he was struggling with his new role as a father while balancing a nearly 50-hour workweek and a full load of classes at Valley College.
It’s that path that helps McKeever, a self-proclaimed advocate for underrepresented youth, understand what many of his students are experiencing.
“It took me nine years to get through community college,” McKeever said. “It’s hard when you’re struggling. It’s hard to concentrate and focus on studying when you’re not knowing how you’re going to feed your kids the next day, actually not even the next day.”