Meet Patrick Graham ’01

Patrick Graham '01

What part of Jackie’s legacy inspires you the most?

Jackie’s legacy of charity inspires me the most. Considering the highly-visible position that I am in, I just always felt an obligation to give back. Even though I feel it’s an obligation, I enjoy it. Whether it’s something big where I give back to my college or give back to certain organizations or small things like paying for gift cards at the coffeehouse and leaving it for people afterwards, every act counts.

I understand I’m fortunate to be in my position and I think it’s important to give back not always monetarily but also in terms of giving back with my time or even with my knowledge of my job. As I’ve gotten older, I realize just how much Mr. Robinson and Mrs. Robinson provided for our community, especially for young people. Because of their model, it’s been a big part of my life.

If you could send a message to yourself as a JRF Freshman, what would you say?

I know generations are different but I would say to myself and any young person that you have to be patient. And what I mean by patient is that it in order to become an expert, it’s going to take a certain amount of time. You’re going to have to practice and grind it out. Everything will play out in the end.

When I meet with some younger people, I’m not sure how patient they are or if reaching their goal would be as satisfying if you got it right now. Again, it might feel good in the moment but my success now is much more satisfying because I remember my first job surviving on $100 a month and couldn’t afford a soda. I remember sitting in class and looking at someone drinking a soda and I thought to myself, “I wish I could buy a soda right now.” Now, here I am where financially I’m fine and enjoying some success.