MACON, Ga. — A Macon man is sharing his story of resilience after overcoming adversity in his life. Robert Spaulding says he was born in Savannah and at the age of 5, he moved to Macon. He had a lot of ups and downs, from his parents being incarcerated to him being expelled from Central High School.

"I moved to Macon because my parents were sort of on the run from the police," Spaulding said.

Spaulding says when he was in kindergarten, his parents got arrested on drug charges.

"So they went off for about 6 or 7 years, and for that time, I stayed with my grandmother and my aunts," Spaulding said. 

Spaulding says when his mom got out of prison, her motivation influenced him.

"She finally afforded to get a place for herself, my mom went back to school, and she became a nurse, which really inspired me," Spaulding said. 

By 17, Spaulding was a junior at Central High School, but he says he started acting out in school.  

"My reputation at the school was so bad, one of the teachers got me expelled," Spaulding said.

Out of school, Spaulding says he took another trip down the wrong path.

"I got a DUI, I started driving on a suspended license, and that landed me in jail for about five months," Spaulding said. 

While in jail, Spaulding says he had an epiphany to start getting his life together.

"I said, 'When I get out of here, I'm going to college,'" Spaulding said. 

With a new mindset, Spaulding got his GED and Associates Degree in Respiratory Therapy in 2006. Plus, in 2013, he earned his bachelor's degree from Middle Georgia State University. 

"And I applied three times before I got into Meharry, I got in 2015, and this is my last year," Spaulding said. 

Robert Spaulding
Robert Spaulding

Now, he's a graduate of Meharry Medical College's dental school. Spaulding is preparing to practice in Smyrna, but wants everyone in Macon to know hard work can take you a long way.

"Sacrifice, give it your undivided attention, just do it every day, and sooner or later, you will get there," Spaulding said. 

Spaulding says he hopes to come back home to Macon and give motivational speeches to students. 

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