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Alumni Spotlight | Charles Coleman

February 16, 2022
By Jonathan Winkler

TNA Class of 2018

Charles Coleman

A senior at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), Charles Coleman, 22, is poised to major in Public Health with concentrations in the fields of mental and behavioral health – not to mention a minor in Economics. Charles has been involved in an on-campus Health and Wellness Promotion work study for the past three years, and currently dedicates his time to helping others as an active member of IUP’s Public Health Club.

“I joined the Public Health field with the expectation to change the world and improve people’s well-being,” said Charles. “I enjoy tutoring and mentoring students during the summer. I relate a lot to their struggles when I speak with them and listen to their stories. During my involvement with IUP’s Health and Wellness Promotion work study, my job was to explain the importance of good mental and physical health to the students. I also helped with various projects, events, and presentations focused on everything from sexual health to stress overload, and nutrition basics to suicide awareness.” 

Charles is currently interviewing for an internship for summer 2022 and plans to pursue a master’s degree in Health Service Administration.

 “I have many dreams, but I have realized that it’s important to focus on the ‘now’… I used to worry so much about my future and the what-ifs. I am now finally trying to take things day by day,” said Charles.

To help cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, Charles explored new genres of music – such as pop, country, rap, R&B, and Christian – focusing on the messages they provide within the lyrics.

“I listen to R&B for the love songs, but I also enjoy songs about loving yourself and the space around you. I enjoy Christian music because it not only speaks to the artist’s faith, but to the artist’s failures and pain in life that they have overcome. Christian music helps me realize life is not easy and many things will happen outside our control, but we must move forward and use things that happen to us as fuel to succeed,” said Charles. 

Even today, Charles has TNA coded within his DNA and, much like his taste in music, has taken important messages with him to get him to where he is in life.

“The most important thing I learned from TNA is that if something is not right or if something does not fit well with you, it’s okay to disagree,” said Charles. “Leaving something for the better is not quitting. Leaving something for another opportunity that fits who you are and elevates you only betters yourself. Reverend Thomas Johnson always said ‘You must leave Location A to get to Location B.’”

Charles has goals far beyond a fulfilling career in healthcare or hospitals. 

“My ultimate goal is to create an after-school program that opens doors and adds value to students’ lives by encouraging them to become more than what they may see on a daily basis.”