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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Get to know your yell leaders: Shaquille Gould

Photo+By+Cody+Franklin

Photo By Cody Franklin

Erik Holland, city desk writer, sat down with Shaquille Gould to talk about his childhood in the West Indies and his thoughts on becoming a yell leader.
THE BATTALION: You are from Antigua, an island in the West Indies. What do you like the most about going back to visit?
Gould: About 55 percent of my family still lives in the Caribbean. I just like spending time with my family when I’m there. I don’t get to see them as much, so it’s good to go back and see how much they have grown up and changed over the years. I also love the beaches — there are so many beaches there. The scenery is amazing and they also have amazing food.
THE BATTALION: What was the transition like for you, at the age of 5, when your family immigrated to the United States?
Gould: It was very difficult. We lived with my aunt and uncle for two months, but then they moved away. We were on our own. We had no family, no help. We actually came here with $2,000 to our name. My dad was not a citizen so he couldn’t work for the first two years. My mom was the only one who could work. She started out at minimum wage, which at the time was $5.75 an hour. So they were raising four of us. We were really struggling, but we had food to eat, clothes on our back, a place to stay — all the basic necessities.
THE BATTALION: Do you have any siblings?
GOULD: My brother, Ackeel Lewis, and I have a very strong relationship. I always looked up to him growing up. I love and miss him, but he is actually in the Army and stationed at Ft. Bragg, so I don’t get to see him as much. He doesn’t know it, but he actually played a part in my decision on joining the Corps of Cadets. I went to his basic training graduation and it was through that that I was inspired to join. Also at one point, I wanted to go into the Air Force, which is no longer the case.
THE BATTALION: Who is your biggest role model and why?
GOULD: Both of my parents are. My dad could not work for two years, so he had to do whatever he could to help — working part time jobs through the church and electrical work for individuals. When he was finally able to work, he got a job as an electrician, but then he eventually worked his way up to taking classes. He got his associates degree through Austin’s network association and now he actually works as a senior networker for IBM. I actually wrote about him in one of my college essays to get into A&M. My mom had been working hard since day one. Working for little to nothing. I remember when she first started taking classes, my dad had left her to go to Kuwait for two years to do some contract work overseas for the government. My mom was working, she was taking classes all while doing the day to day task of taking care of her children. I still don’t know to this day how she did it all, but she now actually works for the state of Texas. Throughout all of that, my parents never lost faith. They knew that God would never put them in a situation that they couldn’t handle. There is a quote by Nido Qubein that hits close to home: ‘‘your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go, they merely determine where you start.’ This shows my parent’s unyielding determination and faith.
THE BATTALION: What inspired you to want to be a yell leader?
GOULD: It all started when I came to A&M — when I met some of the current yell leaders at the time, they always made it a point to be genuine with me and honest. I saw them as an inspiration. They just had an impact on me that not a lot of people had in the past. Also it was something that I thought I would be interested in. I thought it was an honor to serve Texas A&M students and teach others about Texas A&M and be representative to those students and myself who had no prior knowledge of A&M.
THE BATTALION: What are your plans after Texas A&M?
GOULD: I plan on getting a job overseas with a company that’s based on manufacturing work, because I’m a supply chain management major. I want to work overseas for a couple of years to get experience then come back and hopefully get into A&M’s MBA program and major in finance. My goal is to become successful enough to create a nonprofit organization that will help students in the Caribbean to be able to afford to go to school in the states. As you can imagine this hits close to home for me.

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  • Photo By Cody Franklin

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