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Georgia Southern graduate on a mission to help others live their healthiest life

Statesboro native and soon-to-be Georgia Southern graduate Anesha Drummer said she had many reasons to give up on her academic career.

From being a single mother to battling depression to working multiple jobs and spending countless hours away from her now 5-year-old son Ryland, Drummer faced many obstacles throughout her time as an undergraduate student.

But despite the many challenges that came her way, Drummer said she only needed one reason to keep going: Ryland.

“He said he wanted to learn to spell so he could go to college like me,” she said with a laugh. “He wanted to be like me, so I knew I had to give him something good to look up to.”

She began her academic journey with hopes of becoming a physical therapist when her son was just a few months old. She struggled to balance school and caring for her son, all while in the midst of a divorce. Drummer sought advice from the professionals in the University’s Counseling Center.

“During the time I was going to the therapist, I felt like I couldn’t afford to care for my son financially or mentally,” she said. “Going to the counseling center made me more confident and they helped me make a plan. I knew I had to do this for him.”

Part of that plan included exercising to help manage stress. Drummer said she’d always loved working out, but hadn’t really thought of it as a career.

“I took intro to exercise science with Dr. [Nicholas] Murray and saw there were so many options [for careers],” said Drummer. “There was so much I loved about it and all the ways you could work in a lot of different settings.”

With a goal of achieving her certification to become a personal trainer and hopes of one day opening her own gym, Drummer became even more determined to succeed.

“I knew I wanted the best certification,” she said. “I wanted to be an ACSM certified personal trainer.” The ACSM, or American College of Sports Medicine, training certification is one of top personal training certifications available.

Drummer took the certification exam, but didn’t pass. Yet, she remained determined and persisted, eventually finding the skills she needed at Georgia Southern.

“I feel like my major classes prepared me,” she said. “So I took a class that was meant to teach you and prepare you for the [ACSM] exam.”

Second go-round, she aced the  exam and is now certified and ready to help others live their best life.

“I feel like exercise really helped me find my purpose in life,” Drummer said. “So I want to help others become healthy and happy, and to help them be their best self. I am thankful I chose this path because it is something I love, and something I know I’ll enjoy when I’m done with college.”

Drummer plans to open her own studio gym in Statesboro and apply for a graduate assistantship so she can earn a master’s degree in nutrition or kinesiology.

“Statesboro and Georgia Southern are what shaped me, and I’ve been presented with a lot of opportunities, especially as a trainer and an African-American woman,” she said. “I really thank Georgia Southern for having the counseling center and hope more students take advantage of that resource because it is free, and it really did change my state of mind.”

The best opportunity for Drummer, though, has been the future she has built for herself and her son, who, like his mom, will graduate this year – only from Pre-K.



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