Todd's Open Road
Difficult Choices (1:41)
Enough Is Enough (0:56)
Family Support (0:50)
Northwestern University School of Law
No one thought that the kid waiting tables was going to become a law school professor doing work at the White House. But you just have to keep pushing harder and higher.
- Grew up with a single mother who struggled financially, and a brother who was a paraplegic.
- Even in their situation, his mom was always giving back to the community; he always knew that he wanted to find a profession where he could help people, too.
- Says "despite having a low-income background, his mom fought for him to get a high-income education."
- He went to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor for his undergraduate studies; at the time, he wanted to be a doctor.
- Got involved with the NAACP-- realized that while he could help some people as a doctor, he could potentially change the world if he went into law and policy.
- While in law school, he realized that he wanted to go into public interest work, specifically, which is pro bono work for people who can't afford legal help.
- He had to work multiple jobs to pay for school; says classmates made fun of him for working all the time and wearing hand-me-down clothes.
- But he says that living in poverty, couch-surfing, and waiting tables helped put his life in perspective, and prepared him to take on any challenge.