Photo: Courtesy of Terik Tidwell

Editor’s Note: This feature is part of a series spotlighting people who’ve lived in Charlotte for less than a year. If that sounds like you (or someone you know) we’d like to share your story. Here’s a link to our Newcomers Submission Form.

Name: Terik Tidwell

Moved From: Denver

How long in Charlotte: 3 months

Occupation: Director of STEM Innovation, Johnson C. Smith University

Hobbies: Cooking, Shogi (Japanese Chess), running, hiking, trying new restaurants, traveling

What brought you here? When I was in Ferguson, Mo., during the November 2014 protests, I thought to myself, “How did we get here? How can we move forward as a community?” The things that we were experiencing were symptoms of deeply rooted issues – social and economic isolation. After completing a fellowship in Denver, I reflected on how I could align my passion and purpose to tackle some of the root causes. When I learned about the work happening in Charlotte and the vision of Johnson C. Smith University, I was ecstatic. It was like destiny and opportunity had a rendezvous. I always enjoyed working in education, entrepreneurship, and community development, but each of those experiences were isolated. This new opportunity, however, created a platform to focus on my life’s work. There is work, and then there is your life’s work.

What do you like best about Charlotte? Proximity. I love the fact that if I want to visit family in New Jersey or Atlanta, I could drive or fly without accruing a significant burden of cost or time.

What do you like least? Transportation System: I love public transportation. I guess that’s one habit from NYC that I haven’t been able to get rid of. Being that everything is dispersed across the city and county, using public transportation is unlikely. However, I am looking forward to the new rail system being implemented.

How have you gotten involved? Mentoring has always been my go-to avenue for being involved. Through my fraternity (Omega Psi Phi), I am sure there will be many opportunities to mentor kids. However, whether as a volunteer or board member, I do hope to get involved with community organizations or agencies focused on community development and/or entrepreneurship.

What’s been your most memorable moment since moving here? The first week I was here, a friend of a friend invited me to the mountains for the weekend to hangout with their group of friends. I thought, “Wow, I didn’t have to find people; they found me.” Transformative hospitality is real in the south.

Connect with Terik: Facebook | LinkedIn