In August, Nicholas Young plans to start work on a master’s degree in Social Work, on his way to fulfilling his goal of becoming a social worker. But the path for the young man who graduated just a few days ago magna cum laude from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida wasn’t always so clear.
Young, who grew up near West Palm Beach, for a good while was simply known as “Baby Sam.” A cable construction worker found him on top of an ant bed near an orange grove in Florida. There was no note. There were no papers identifying the infant or his parents.
Baby Sam was first placed in foster care and later adopted by Carl and Dorothy Young.
“My social worker made sure that I was connected and placed in a good family. That made all the difference in the world,” Nicholas Young told BlackAmericaweb.com. “I got off to rough start in life, but other than that, my life has been quite typical.”
He made a decision early in life that he would attend FAMU. “I grew up going to homecoming and different campus events. I always saw positive, young African Americans there, working to make a difference. That’s what I wanted to do.”
The sound of Pomp and Circumstance at historically black colleges and universities throughout the country this graduation season bring hundreds, maybe even thousands of stories of triumph. Many are graduates like Young who overcame tough circumstances to pursue their dream of a college degree.
Young’s career choice comes as a direct result of the impact a social worker, Carolyn Lester, had on his life.
“I still stay in touch with her to this day,” said the 22-year-old Young. “If I can impact another kid’s life as she has impacted mine, I will have made a contribution.”
Baby Sam, who grew into baby Nick, then Nicholas, made an almost automatic connection with his family.
“I saw those eyes. I saw that face. We knew we wanted to have him in our family,” Dorothy Young told BlackAmericaweb.com. “When I saw him on the television, I became ecstatic; I knew that was my baby.”
“We had a daughter, and she wanted a playmate. We had not been successful in having more children,” Dorothy Young said. In August 1989, they welcomed Baby Sam and named him Nicholas.
When the Youngs felt they could tell Nicholas about his early childhood without it bothering him, they told him how he was found and how they had come to adopt him.
“We never even considered keeping it from him,” Dorothy Young said. “I kept an album with pictures and news articles.”
Her son has always had a solid support system – a pastor, teachers, his sister and parents, Dorothy Young said. “He has always had people he could talk it out with,” she said.
Still Nicholas knows nothing about his birth parents, but he’d like to meet them one day,” he said.
“I’m not interested in having a relationship with them. I just want to ask them some questions, like why is it that the only place you could find to leave me was on top of an ant hill?”
Young attended William T. Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach and graduated in 2007 before going on to FAMU.
Like many students, the transition to college was challenging, but he soon got used to it, Dorothy Young said.
“He had to get used to living in the dorm away from home,” she said.
He graduated with a 3.35 grade point average and was a member of several professional organizations and the Phi Alpha Honor Society.
When he talks to younger students today, Young said he has a few words of advice.
“I tell them there is no obstacle in life that you can’t overcome,” he said. “As a child it was instilled in me that I can do anything I wanted. I took that to heart.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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