When junior political science major Justice Crudup was 10 years old his mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, disabling her and qualifying her for disabled pay. With his dad out of the picture and his sister taking care of her own family, Crudup started working at 13 years old to provide for himself and his mom.
“I don’t know anything else besides being independent,” said Crudup.
As a transfer student from San Jose, Crudup comes from a working, lower class family and financially supports himself as well as his mom. He is the first of his family to attend college. Even with financial difficulties, Crudup approaches life with a positive, outspoken attitude, connecting with his surroundings and actively inspiring those around him.
“He always brings a positive vibe and brightens up the room wherever he goes,” said junior integrated educational studies major Glenda Vargas.
From San Jose, Crudup graduated in the top 10 of his class from Mount Pleasant High School, a school that lacked in educational resources, such as AP classes, that most other high schools offer. After graduating, Crudup chose to attend community college and moved out at 18 years old, wanting to focus on his academics and break away from his home.
“Education has always been the pinnacle of my motivation in life,” Crudup said.
Attending West Valley Community College for his first year, then Foothill Community College, he described his time at these colleges a “wreck.” He never finished some of the classes. However, he enrolled in ROTC and then transferred to Chapman after receiving his Associate’s Degree. Now at Chapman, Crudup is continuing his time in ROTC.
“I didn’t want to just sign the papers and go straight into military. I wanted to find a path where I can serve and do my duties and continue pursuing higher education,” he said.
Crudup credits ROTC for helping him develop skills both his parents and college couldn’t teach him, such as organization and diligence. Because Chapman doesn’t have an ROTC unit, he attends California State University, Fullerton’s ROTC hub twice a week.
Crudup plans to take the GED then the LSAT in September. From there, he wants to attend Stanford or UCLA for law school. After his education career, he plans to serve in the military for about 20 years as a JAG, a Judge Advocate General, otherwise known as a lawyer for the military.
For now he tries to take advantage of the community and resources at Chapman. Crudup works two jobs on campus, as a Panther Relations Assistant at Panther Village and a Guest Relations Assistant. He is also the president of the Chapman Democrats club as well as a part of Cross Cultural Initiative’s diversity board on campus. In addition, Crudup also serves as a resident advisor for the Pralle-Sodaro Hall.
“It’s my pride,” he said, “It’s really fun, just seeing students excel in their academics and being a part of their first year experience, helping them through tests, relationships, drama, sororities, fraternities. It’s such a gratifying experience – I love it,” Crudup said.
Crudup’s genuine care for his residents is also reflected towards his friends.
“He is the most enthusiastic and loving person I know on campus,” said junior business administration major Moo Bin Lee. “He has the ability to bring people together under almost any circumstance and always includes everyone.”
Sophomore public relations and advertising major Alexis Dworkin also emphasized Crudup’s friendly nature and open personality.
“Justice has this wonderful ability to uplift me. When I doubt myself or have an off day, his fun loving and undeniable confidence always makes me feel like I’m going to be okay. It’s a beautiful thing,” said Dworkin.