Alumnus and community leader inspires PBSC NexGen students to thrive

If you’re looking for someone who will believe in you, inspire you and help you achieve your potential, it’s Palm Beach State College alumnus and Director of Operations for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Palm Beach County Anthony J. Davis, Sr.

Why? Because he has overcome many challenges, is now thriving personally and professionally, and believes anyone, no matter their circumstances or beliefs, can do the same.

Recently, he encouraged a group of 75 PBSC students in PBSC’s NexGen Summer Bridge program how they could have the confidence and mindset to thrive in school.

The NexGen program, offered by the Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler Equity Institute in partnership with TRIO Student Support Services, is a comprehensive summer initiative for first-time college students to receive academic, financial and personal support.

Davis, a former member of PBSC’s Student Support Services TRIO program, told them the key to their success was in extreme execution.

“I call it this because at the end of they day, I don’t care how many followers you have on social media, how popular you are or not, you have to be able to execute,” said Davis, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management and was selected as the NCAA Male National Scholar-Athlete of the Year at the University of Central Florida.

He also told them to be mentally and emotionally present, take notes and embrace their opportunities.

“I guarantee you there is somebody right now who would love to trade places with you to have this opportunity to get better.”

Other keys to success Davis explained are for students to find their strengths, or as he likes to call them “superpowers,” seek feedback, dress to impress, visualize their success and maintain positive self-talk regardless of how people react or write on social media.

“When you post something and then wait to see how people respond, you are letting other people decide how you are going to feel about it instead of deciding yourself regardless of whether you get likes or not.”

Davis also warned students not to get lazy.

“Don’t allow laziness to be the reason you miss out on opportunities or fail to reach your full potential. You’ll never have to catch up if you discipline yourself to do what it takes to stay ahead.”

Making mistakes and holding on to unforgiveness are other things Davis noted students shouldn’t let hold them back.

“Mistakes are going to happen. It is what it is. And people are going to hurt you. Some of you are still replaying what happened to you 15 years ago over and over in your mind and that’s why you’re stuck. You have to make a declaration to yourself that that ends today.”

When students do land their first job, Davis told them to focus on their will set.

“Skill sets may get you hired, but your will set will keep you employed and set you apart from your peers.”

One NexGen student encouraged by Davis’s speech was Daunte Palmer, who plans to study music production and engineering at PBSC. “It was very inspiring to hear somebody come from such challenges and still make so much of themselves. When he said that it was determination that defines a person, that is something I will always remember when I too face challenges.”

Davis, a first-generation college student who earned an Associate in Arts degree from PBSC in 2006, experienced hardships early. Born into poverty to young teenage parents, he ended up living in various homeless shelters growing up.

However, Davis decided to become absolutely determined, which is also the name of his company he founded in 2014 to help young adults, professionals and more to improve their critical thinking and implement strategies for personal and professional success.

He was determined not to let these adversities define him or hold him back. Now, he passionately teaches others to do the same through coaching, books, workshops and keynote speeches.

​Originally from Boynton Beach, Davis now resides in Orlando with Ericka, his wife of 13 years, and their four children: Zoriyah, Zaria, Anthony Jr., and Amarii. For more on Davis, visit

In recognition of Palm Beach State College’s 90th anniversary, the weekly Alumni Spotlight Series showcases the College’s role in preparing generations of graduates to achieve success in myriad careers and give back to their local communities.