When most college students graduate from the constraints of academia walls, they are at a loss on what to do with the freedom. However, at Temple, most students start their careers early in college. For students such as Trevor Durham, the community at Temple gave him a myriad of opportunities in which to start training early for the real world.
Despite his full-time enrollment as a junior in the broadcasting and journalism program, Durham works as a spokesperson for Ecolips, an organic lip balm. Durham is in the process of making Ecolips a household name. Recently he was able to launch the product by getting it demonstrated on The Late Show with David Letterman. For most 21-year-olds, getting their product shown on Letterman several times is quite a feat, especially since most students will be watching the show rather than being on it.
But because Durham had developed a relationship with Rupert Jee’s Hello Deli, the gourmet sandwich shop next to CBS studios, Durham was able to increase the productivity and warp-speed his own career. The company received e-mails and calls from across the nation regarding the clip on the Letterman show. In addition, five other companies have shown competitive interest because of this show.
While it’s obviously impressive to be the spokesperson of a popular product, Durham doesn’t stop there. He is also an athlete liaison in the professional skateboarding world. For skateboarding athletes such as Tony Hawk, Bob Burnquist and 14-year-old Ryan Sheplar, Durham is a voice between the athletes and the people who are running the event.
In addition, Durham has worked at the Gravity Games and the X Games as the person vert ramp. His job is to communicate with the television networks, cameramen, judges, and most importantly, the skateboarders. Durham loves to mediate between groups of people using his talents and abilities to make sure everyone is happy.
Despite his lack of involvement in Temple activities, Durham keeps busy mixing work with school. Though the future looks vague on when he will graduate, he is not worried about where the future will take him.
“I don’t know where the road will take me. That is the cool thing and the scary thing… I don’t know where I will end up,” Durham said.
Durham’s future looks brighter than ever with an invitation to take the semester off to work for NBC television. In 2005, the network is planning the first ever season-long skateboarding tour that will take Durham all over the country. The tour, sponsored by Mountain Dew will debut in April or May 2005. Durham plans to spend spring semester doing what he does best: working as a moderator between players and the companies.
“I enjoy connecting people. That is why I am an agent; that is why I am a liaison,” Durham said. “They possess the qualities to excel at their sport and I possess the qualities that will assist in making the obstacles that prevent them from being the best to disappear.”
But don’t mistake Durham’s management skills to hinder his personal life. For several years he has enjoyed being a youth leader at the First Presbyterian Church in Moorestown, N.J., Durham’s hometown.
Every Wednesday night Durham hosts youth night, which includes Bible study, games, worship music and good conversation during dinner. Durham is proud of the fact that he has helped local high school students learn about God and how to have a fruitful, fulfilling life as a Christian. In December, Durham, along with several other leaders takes the group to Long Beach Island for a weekend retreat.
But Durham’s long list of accomplishments does not stop there. Over the summer he made a cameo appearance in Cameron Diaz’s new movie, In Her Shoes, as an extra and had the opportunity to work as a “go-to guy” between the directors and cameramen.
For Durham, the future is filled with many prospects.
“The door is wide open,” Durham said. “If I only had one opportunity in my life then that would be it. But I’ve had many opportunities so I don’t know.”
On top of everything, Durham is the kind of guy who likes to help out the next generation. His experience in networking and negotiating would make him a mentor for any young entrepreneur with a dream. However, even a guy like Durham has his limits: “I am not offering a free ride… to anyone.”
Alexis K. Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.