Vision, ambition, and will
Lex-Jordan Ibegbu transferred into CA from public school his freshman year.
“College choice is all about what you are exposed to,” Ibegbu explains. “Prior to CA, I didn’t really know what college I wanted to go to. I had always assumed I’d go to Shaw University. My parents attended Shaw University. I grew up across the street.”
Over the course of his four years at CA, however, his horizons broadened, with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill rising to near-mythical status in his mind.
“I had never been to Chapel Hill. I didn’t know anyone that attended Carolina” says Ibegbu. “But, CA was sending a lot of students to Carolina. I researched and discovered the kind of professionals that Carolina was producing. I wanted to be an attorney and I knew that Carolina had a strong political science department. I also knew that the Carolina name would open doors for me later in my career. Going there became one of my prayers.”
The transition to CA had been an academic adjustment, but one that he was able to manage after a year. Still, some thought Carolina might be a reach for Ibegbu. He credits his mother and college counselor Laura Sellers for believing in him enough to encourage him to pursue his dream and apply.
“Ms. Sellers was such a blessing. She told me exactly what I needed to do to make it happen. I took the SAT twice to attain a sufficient score” Ibegbu recalls. “I only needed to see the blueprint. Once I learned the process I could then apply it. I believed in myself. I believed in my spirit that I would go to Carolina.”
With clear goals, guideposts, and a healthy boost of confidence, Ibegbu threw himself into the application process, while also pursuing scholarship options. His clear-eyed tenacity was rewarded, and he was admitted to Carolina on a full scholarship as a Covenant Scholar.
As an African American student in a then-predominantly white CA community, the promise of Carolina’s diverse student body had also been a tremendous lure to Ibegbu. On campus, he took full advantage, immersing himself into academic, social, and extracurricular experiences through which he weaved a broad social network that would pay dividends throughout his college career and beyond.
His eyes set on law school, Ibegbu pursued a degree in political science. He also continued the student government work he’d enjoyed at CA and was elected as a student body congressman. It was an experience that afforded the opportunity to collaborate with an ever-widening circle of students, while also providing practical experience that he could leverage for law school.
He pursued his other passions—music and drama—via dual minors. A rapper, Ibegbu used his music as a networking tool, performing for various student groups across campus and always making connections along the way.
“I credit Carolina with teaching me how to maneuver in different environments,” offers Ibegbu. “Every week I tried to connect with people from different insular communities throughout the campus. That might have been going to plays with my drama friends, or performing at events hosted by Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity (a Latino fraternity), or working on legislation with members of the Muslim Student Association, or seeking out mentor opportunities within Carolina’s vast alumni network. I was always consciously trying to broaden my horizons, to build that social capital.”
Ibegbu graduated from Carolina in 2012 and was admitted to the University of Miami School of Law, from which he graduated in 2015. He is now a practicing attorney in both Florida and North Carolina with the law office of Kurtz & Blum, PLLC. He currently has a focus in criminal law, with an eye for music/entertainment issues, and engages in political consultant work for various candidates and politicians.
“As for the future, I am always seeking growth and knowledge. I want to become an immense legal mind, perhaps start my own practice that spans the eastern seaboard. I hope to exercise some influence over this country’s politics and economic policies.”
As always, Ibegbu is making a plan and charting a course for success: “I am setting the foundation for my dreams and working towards creating a lasting legacy.”