How These Teachers Changed My Life

When I was seventeen, I took a multimedia class at Crescent High School. 

Crescent High School

I was only interested in it because I thought it would be easy and kind of artsy. I knew we had to learn Photoshop (among other programs), but I had no idea just how big of a role such a class would play for me. The following year, I had the same teacher, but for a different class: Entrepreneurship. I had NO idea those two classes could connect, would connect for me, or that I even had a passion for entrepreneurship.

I honestly was just going to sell some chocolate and call it a day. I was a C student to the very core.

Luckily, my teacher wasn't having any of that. She knew I had artistic abilities, and practically banned all options on the table that didn't involve anything I wasn't absolutely passionate about. I could have been mad at her for it, but I wasn't. She believed in me and showed me a way I didn't even know existed.

 Board game character concept I did in 2012.

Board game character concept I did in 2012.

I worked hard not only to make her proud, but myself as well. I then managed to win the business competition that was held that year, and was nominated Student Entrepreneur of the Year by YESCarolina.

It was eye opening and yet, even in college at Piedmont Tech, I didn't quite know my path. I actually intended to be a video game designer. After all, at that time, I played more video games than anything. However, as my time in college progressed, I began noticing that I not only disliked building video games, I DESPISED it. Programming, 3D modeling, and animating... all of it was so tedious. I prefer telling stories, designing characters, and designing the way a game is played. All things that dominate tabletop games.

I learned that connecting with friends, and telling stories through words and artwork – on the table – is where my passion lies. 

Fast forward eight years since my first exposure to using multimedia. I've now taken those same skills and used them to create my very own business, Vindicated Entertainment, and raised thousands of dollars from my abilities.

 Book layout for my latest Otherworlds RPG adventure

Book layout for my latest Otherworlds RPG adventure

I have a published roleplaying game, as well as a published card game that is being sold in stores! It's absolutely crazy to me.

I'm so grateful to have had teachers that believed in me when I wasn't there to believe in myself. Thank you so much to all of the wonderful teachers who guide their students, and remember: What you learn today can build your future.

This article is dedicated to Aimee Gray, Ted Thomas, Mike Beckom, Kendall Adams, and Tommy Gortney. May teachers aspire to be at least half of what you are! 

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Stay Awesome!
Vincent Baker