They Taught Me to Reach for the Stars | Broward College Office of Advancement and Broward College Foundation

They Taught Me to Reach for the Stars

Antonio Ellison


Antonio Ellison grew up in a rough neighborhood without a father figure in his life, but his mother and his grandmother were adamant that he make something of himself. Attending college was a must.

“I always wanted to go to Broward College,” Antonio said. “It was my number one choice.”

But would Antonio succeed in the academic world?

Antonio worked hard, immersing himself in his studies, completing more than 300 hours of voluntary community service, and participating in student activities. He strove to fit in and find a place for himself. Thanks to supportive faculty and deans, he did succeed. “They taught me to reach for the stars.”

Antonio’s hard work was recognized when he was awarded an American Dream Scholarship, which helps students pay for college costs that are not covered by federal assistance programs.


Antonio Ellison with his mother and grandmother at his commencement ceremony.

After earning his associate’s degree in Liberal Arts, Antonio chose to continue his studies at Broward College, earning his Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision & Management while employed as a lab assistant at the college and as a distributor of Organo Gold coffee. In May of this year, he graduated.

Today, Antonio is an Intervention Outreach Specialist for Broward House, a nonprofit agency that provides services for those impacted by HIV and other health concerns. He is based at the Wilton Manors office, working with MEGA (Men Educating and Gaining Awareness), a program that serves Black and Latino men aged 18 – 30.

Antonio advocates for Broward College, urging those in the MEGA program to seriously consider the school as an excellent and affordable place to continue their education. In addition, he presents workshops on Broward House and its services to Broward College student organizations.

Antonio is a great example of how Broward College is helping make our community a better place to live.


Raising private financial support for Broward College is an important mission. Even more important … is WHY we pursue this mission. We believe anyone who wants to change his or her life through the pursuit of higher education should be provided that opportunity.

The Broward College Foundation helps students as they strive to achieve the American Dream of higher education and helps philanthropists make dreams come true.

If you would like to help other deserving students like Antonio achieve the American Dream, please CLICK HERE to securely donate. Thank you!


In 1988, John Green was a bus driver working for Broward County Transit, taking classes at Broward College, but putting forth minimal effort. “I was a mediocre student with a mediocre attitude flubbing my way through,” Green said. “I was just trying to get by.” Green’s confidence had taken a hit in public school, and it hadn’t rebounded in college. But that was all about to change.