Say hello to Terik Tidwell, Qcity Newcomer

Terik Tidwell moved to Charlotte from Denver, Colo. He spent some time in Ferguson, Mo., as part of the protest movement, which pointed him in a new direction.

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

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