Apollonia Landrum

Reluctant student now advocates education

Apollonia Landrum determined she’d never to go to college. She had a plan after graduating from La Marque High School: join the military, retire and enter the workforce.
Her plans changed after her military aspirations failed to materialize and she drifted from one unsatisfying job to another. As she grumbled about her options, her grandmother challenged her: “Look, baby, do you want to work hard with your body or do you want to use your mind?”
When Landrum replied that she’d rather work with her mind, her grandmother stated with conviction, “You need to go to college.”
Agreeing, Landrum enrolled in classes at College of the Mainland. However, the prospect of college courses, especially her nemesis, math, terrified her. After wrestling with the subject for half a semester, she hit a low point and stopped by advisor Fatima Abdeldaim’s office for support.
“I was in there one day, crying, and she said, ‘You got it. You will pass,’” Landrum recalled.
Encouraged, Landrum went to a COM tutor for help – and passed the course.
“I will forever be appreciative,” she said.
Later, Landrum puzzled over which major to select. Knowing that she wanted to work in assisted living home management, a field that required at least a bachelor’s degree, Abdeldaim and advisor Theo Moody helped her map an education plan to reach her goal. They showed her which courses to take in preparation for a bachelor’s degree. When she arrived at the University of Houston-Clear Lake there, she described the transferring process as smooth “because I had Ms. Fatima and Mr. Moody.”
After two years of intense study, Landrum, who lives in Webster, has graduated with a bachelor’s degree in health care administration and has been accepted to Texas Woman’s University to pursue an executive MBA. Well on her way to achieving her dream, she emails Abdeldaim and Moody with each milestone she passes.

The Webster resident is confident that she is on right course, having worked for a time at her great-aunt’s assisted living home.
“I absolutely love working in an assisted living home,” said Landrum. “You had to be attentive to residents. They wanted to talk with you, laugh with you. They’re somebody’s mom or dad, brother or sister, and you want to make sure they’re happy.”

For her the most rewarding part of her newly earned degree, apart from being one step closer to her goal of management, is “to be able to let other people know that they can do the same thing and to motivate other people like Ms. Fatima and Mr. Moody did me.”

She encourages her friends, “You’re never too old. Do today what it will take to get where you want to be in the future.”

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