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Student, athlete, father and poet all in one

Demetrius Terry photo by Hannah Brown

Demetrius Terry photo by Hannah Brown

Demetrius Terry, 19, is a freshman football player at Bluffton University with an interesting story. Born in Birmingham, Ala., and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Terry has been down some unique paths that have made him the man he is today. Being the father of a daughter and a student at Bluffton has been tough, but motivating, for him.

“She was the reason I wanted to go to school. I wasn’t going to come to college. I thought I was going to become a fire fighter, but when I had a daughter and she was born, I realized that I wanted to show her that someone that grew up in an environment that I grew up in, can be something,” said Terry.

Terry said many people have shaped him into who he is today, including  his mom, his sister and his best friend. He said they were able to get him through tough times during his childhood.

Demetrius Terry inspires the audience with poems about his life at a poetry slam in October.

Demetrius Terry inspires the audience with poems about his life at a poetry slam in October. Photo by Hannah Brown

“The things that me, my mom and my sister have been through shaped me into the person I am. All throughout middle school, we were in and out of a house, even homeless for a majority of seventh and eighth grade,”  Terry said. “The biggest influence is my best friend. He never wanted me to be in the streets. Whenever I was homeless, he always gave me a place to stay. Watching him pass in front of me, due to some violence, shooting, picking him up, is the reason I don’t like violence now, and why I strive to do better.”

One way that Terry expresses his thoughts is through poetry. Terry said that with his personality,  he is prone to keeping everything bundled in, but he has found that he can let it out by using pen and paper.

Demetrius Terry, left, and Yonas Desta eat in the Marbeck Commons. Photo by Hannah Brown

Demetrius Terry, left, and Yonas Desta eat in the Marbeck Commons. Photo by Hannah Brown

“I’ve always been thick-skinned, and don’t like talking to anybody,” he said. “So the one way I get to express myself through a deeper meaning and tell a story was through poetry, and that is why I continue to write daily.”

Terry, a history education major who hopes one day to become a principal, says he chose  Bluffton University for the support he knew he would find here.

“I wasn’t the best student in high school, and I knew that I would get a lot of help here, ” said Terry. “I met Jacqui Slinger and all she wanted to do was help me. I knew that Bluffton was the best place to be.”

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Gino Spadaro

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