Sterling Slayden’s parents knew he was something special right from the start. Maybe that’s partly why they gave him the middle name “Silver.”
“My name is Sterling Silver,” he said. “They did that because sterling silver is sold by weight. No matter what shape or size it comes in, it’s always the same.”
And the University of Houston-Victoria sophomore is doing what he can to make a name for himself.
The Houston native was the first person in his family to graduate from high school in 50 years and the first to attend college. He said his father motivated him to take that step forward.
“My dad died when I was a senior in high school, and he always wanted me to go to college,” he said. “He didn’t want me to work on cars like he did. He showed me education is the right way to go.”
While Slayden has done excellent by his father’s word, he also followed in his footsteps, obtaining a job at Discount Tire, where he has worked for four years.
It isn’t always easy to balance his full-time workload with school, but Slayden said scheduling makes it possible.
“I figure out what I need to take and get my classes set up,” he explained. “Then I decide how my work schedule can fit in. It’s all about planning ahead of time.”
The 21-year-old business marketing major said he hopes to get into law school after graduation. He hasn’t yet decided whether to focus on criminal justice or something involving finances.
Although he doesn’t have much free time away from the classroom and work, he enjoys doing volunteer work and seeing the occasional concert. He also likes playing pool.
Slayden, who has made the dean’s list twice consecutively during college, takes his education seriously. He enjoys learning and wants to set a good example for his younger brother and sister.
He encouraged others looking to succeed to take that first step and apply to school. Then it’s important to form a relationship with professors and ask questions, he said.
“Ask them for help when you need it,” he said. “Don’t hold back. There’s no such thing as a stupid question when you’re a student.”
The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing, or call 361-570-4350.