, Muskogee, OK

Local News

June 8, 2014

Bacone recruit discovers opportunities to help others

Whether at a chess board, wrestling match or the Bacone campus, Eric Strocen knows how to seize an opportunity.

The Philadelphia native is entering his senior year at Bacone College, where he is the student body president. Instead of going back to Philly each summer, Strocen, 21, has stayed in Muskogee, working with the Project Transformation summer day camp at St. Paul United Methodist Church.

Strocen recalled taking all sorts of opportunities to make transformations in his life.

“When I was young, my mother had it set in her head I would not go to school in inner-city Philadelphia school,” he said. “So, when I got to be about 5, we moved to surrounding areas around the city.”

He said his mother was a single parent who worked several odd jobs.

“She always found a way to provide for me and my brothers,” he said. “She recently got her CDL (commercial driver’s) license, and she’s been a school bus driver. Right now, she’s trying to go back to school trying to get an education.”

Strocen started wrestling in high school. His wrestling attracted college invitations — including one from Bacone.

“I had never even heard of Muskogee until I got the letter,” he said. “It was the best thing that ever happened in my life. Everything changed for the better. Opportunities here just flowed: jobs, being able to make a difference.”

Strocen seeks a degree in criminal justice but remains undecided what his post-college job will be.

“I want to put myself in a position to help as many people as I can,” he said.

Meet Eric Strocen

AGE: 21.

HOMETOWN: Philadelphia.

CAREER: Worked three day jobs during school, full-time student.

EDUCATION: Pennwood High School, Landsdowne, Pa., 2011. Currently a senior at Bacone College.

FAMILY: Mother, Stacey Strocen; five brothers, one sister.

CHURCH: Praise Center Family Church.

HOBBIES: Martial arts, wrestling, chess, video games, working out, lifting weights.

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.