My Life Since “Too Important to Fail”

By Alan Poindexter

Alan Poindexter in "Tavis Smiley Reports: Too Important to Fail"

My life since “Too Important to Fail” has been crazy, amazing, hectic, beautiful, stressful and incredibly fun all at the same time. The best revenge is success, and education most definitely helps me achieve this. During the interview with Tavis Smiley, I was a junior at a school completely foreign to me, while living in a group home. That time of my life was super depressing, but being chosen for the interview came out of nowhere and made me realize I should make the best out of every situation. It was also perfect for my portfolio, since a career in television/radio broadcasting has been a longtime dream of mine.

Seeing myself on TV was a highlight that I was sad to end so soon. A tremendous number of my friends tuned in for the premiere, and the feeling of overcoming an obstacle overcame me. Even though I never really took education too seriously, the interview changed my outlook.  My senior year was probably my most successful and productive year in high school, with the best grades I’ve had since seventh grade.

I have no clue what my last/best year of high school would have been like if I never agreed to do the taping that spring afternoon. I most likely would have been extremely off track and just partied the year away. That year was also when I realized that the world needs to see my talent and that my personality is too stupendous for me to only work in a cubicle. Alan Michael Poindexter was meant to be a star and be seen as a celebrity.

During my seven-month group home stay at Greater New Beginnings in West Oakland, CA, I got involved with Youth Radio, an Internet radio station completely run by teens and young adults. I did hands-on radio work, interviews, deejayed and wrote commentaries. From there, I built up my fan base. I called myself “DJ Alan Dexter” and was a huge success. Radio was cool and all, but it wasn’t enough publicity for me.

When my senior year started, I found my niche. After I was released from the group home on August 20, 2011 and started my senior year back at my native school, Dublin High, I began a class called Multi-Media and fell in love with the attention of being in front of the camera even more. Multi-Media was responsible for video announcements, called the Video Bulletin (VB), and these made me even more of a Dublin High celebrity than I already was from past years. I never thought a televised interview about something I didn’t care much about could make such a change in my life.

The VB was an amazing experience of interviewing people, being interviewed, editing, advertising and broadcasting campus news. This was just the icing on the cake of me realizing that this life is for me and that I needed to be famous and be surrounded by celebrities such as myself. I ended senior year and graduated with a bang. Sadly, all good things come to an end, and high school did. I was so famous on my campus; so when none of that mattered after graduation, it was a tremendous downslide on my emotions. But everything happens for a reason; so maybe God was saying, “It’s time for Alan to branch out, because 3.5 years at DHS was probably all they could handle.”

Before the group home, I was such an out-of-control mess that maybe jail was the only place to tame me. I was out late on house arrest and always put schoolwork on the back burner; but Tavis Smiley changed my roughness on this aspect for the best. The DHS assistant principal loved the new Alan. The old Alan had lopsided emotions and would be nice and disrespectful to the same person almost all the time. But after the not-so-happy experience of incarceration, a group home and Oakland Technical High School for a semester, I was a new and improved Poindexter. Everyone around me could notice the change, but the change I made within myself is all that matters. It’s a really good and accomplished feeling.

Now, in December 2012, I am currently attending Chabot Community College in Hayward, CA, where I’m only taking general education, but I’m striving to transfer to Cal State East Bay to major in media production and minor in business administration. In college, people get to take classes that actually interest them and get them to their careers. This fact is just bliss to my ears, because now I can do hands-on interactions with broadcasting, journalism and everything else. That makes my heart flutter, just realizing people will watch me and love me. My dream is to one day become an actor, but if this doesn’t work, I’m totally okay with becoming a news correspondent.

Well, that’s all for now, America; thank you so much for reading my blog, and thank you so much Mr. Smiley for getting to know my story and following up.  Peace, Love and Happiness to all!!! God Bless =)


Alan Poindexter was a youth offender in Oakland, CA, who was featured in Tavis Smiley Reports: “Too Important to Fail”. You can connect with him on Facebook or Instagram @Badd_Dexter.



Last modified: February 21, 2013 at 2:37 am
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