Local man looks for bright future after obstacles

Published 12:08 am Tuesday, September 19, 2017

It’s been said that what defines us is how well we rise after falling, and that’s exactly what Andalusia’s Ardarrius Bogan is working to do.

Bogan played cornerback at Andalusia High School in 2014.

“I only played a year,” he said.

He enlisted in the National Guard between his junior and senior years in high school and attended basic training.

Bogan said during his senior year, his life started to change.

“I got arrested during my senior year in high school,” he said. “It was for domestic violence. I was involved with a female, and I was in an angry state and I took all my anger out toward her and everyone else.”

Bogan said his parents divorced when he was younger and it hit him hard.

He said he spent a lot of time alone and got into trouble.

He also went to college at Northeast Mississippi Community College to play football, but the money wasn’t there for him to attend, so he came back to Andalusia.

“I was trying to find myself,” he said. “I don’t get excited about anything in life.”

Last year, he wound up in jail again for domestic violence, and then he attempted suicide, he said.

“It was a very low point in my life,” he said. “I took two bottles of NyQuil and a box of Benadryl.”

Bogan said he doesn’t remember much about that time in the hospital, but that he woke up feeling like there was spirits in the room and he ran from the hospital.

“The police were looking for me,” he said. “They took me to Luverne to the South Wing.”

There he was diagnosed with severe anxiety and bipolar disorder.

He was prescribed Seroquel, which is an antipsychotic used to treat bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia.

But Seroquel is known to have side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth and sore throat; stomach pain, upset stomach, nausea and vomiting and more.

Bogan said after taking the medicine, he didn’t know what day of the week it was.

“There was a lot of confusion,” he said.

He believes he has a case of undiagnosed ADHD.

In February, Bogan made a change.

He was accepted into the Job Corps program, which is a federally-funded program that provides academic and career training and prepares students for success in every aspect of their lives.

Some 60,000 young people benefit from the program each year.

It takes 8-24 months to complete the career program – Bogan completed his in June.

And it’s free.

“I needed to complete something in my life,” he said. “I hadn’t been able to maintain a job longer than a week.”

Next month, Bogan will travel to Sacremento, Calif., where he has been accepted into the AmeriCorps.

“I’m excited to get away,” he said. “I’m going to be doing humanitarian work. We are going to help the American Red Cross, building trails and parks.”

Bogan said to be accepted into AmeriCorps, he had to be a top Job Corps student and receive a recommendation from the center director.

Bogan said that through Job Corps, he’s achieved things he never would have in high school.

“I was student of the week,” he said. “And I learned self control.”

Through AmeriCorps, he will receive money for higher education if he completes 10 months of work with them, he said.

He said that he’d like a chance to play football if it presents itself, but his main focus is a career that will allow him to take his life experiences and help someone else out of a dark place.

“I’m thinking about social work or psychiatry,” he said. “I may go to LBWCC for a while and get my grades up and then go someone else.”

He also said he would like to travel and be a motivational speaker.

“I’d like to speak to millions of people,” he said. “So, I’d also like to take some communications classes.”

Bogan has some advice for those who may be going through similar situations as he has.

“Self realization is important,” he said. “After the age of innocence, it’s on you to make good choices. You have to really look at what you do to yourself, not what others do to you. Don’t let bad thoughts manifest in your self-conscious, and surround yourself with positive people.”

Bogan said he is living a two-year project.

“In two years, I want to be better than I am now,” he said.