Terelle Cadd is from Roanoke, Virginia, and is a Senior Aerospace Engineering with a 4.0 GPA. He says the best thing about being a Virginia Tech engineer is becoming a part of such a welcoming community. Terelle transferred from a community college in 2019 and was immediately met with the inclusive attitude of the department. There are tons of opportunities to conduct research to get hands-on experience within the field, but his favorite aspect of the department is their emphasis on not only connecting you with leaders and mentors, but making you into one as well. He has personally been able to establish connections with mentors all around campus who have taught him more than he could ever imagine and they have assisted him with finding his passion within the fields of STEM. When he was in middle school, he aspired to become a police officer, however as he grew older his focuses were realigned to engineering. Although these paths are fairly different, he does believe that the motivation to pursue each was rooted in the same goal – To change the world for the better.
Terelle knew that he wanted to give back and be to others what his mentors and professors have been for him; a leader who inspires others to get active, achieve the unthinkable, and replace any doubt within themselves with confidence. Terelle sympathizes with those who feel as if they aren’t good enough to pursue their dreams, and he believes that showing others what he’s been able to achieve could inspire them and more to pursue their dreams. He believes that showing others what he’s been able to achieve, will inspire them and more to pursue their dreams.
In the future, Terelle would like to get more involved in programs at Virginia Tech that help the youth get engaged in the fields of STEM. His passion to “pay it forward” isn’t limited to those in his immediate home. During his time at Virginia Tech, Terelle is proud to say that his leadership/mentorship roles have put him in positions where he has been able to assist other students with networking, building their resumes, and filling out applications that have ultimately helped them acquire opportunities that they previously believed were out of reach. Each semester, Terelle strives to encourage other students to become more active during class and work harder to solidify their understanding of the material being learned, and if they need help with this, he'll always try to assist to the best of his ability. All too often Terelle has felt students believe that they must wait until graduation to uphold Virginia Tech’s motto "Ut Prosim," which means “so that I may serve.” However, the power of words can impact the lives of others much sooner. In pursuit of his dreams, helping others achieve their goals and aspirations, has become equally as important and gratifying as achieving his own.
Terelle says his mother is his role model because despite being a single mother at an early age, she finished high school, and became the first member of his family to graduate college. Even at times when she had to work multiple jobs while also pursuing her degree, she always maintained a positive attitude and he never once sensed the first sign of her giving up. As she worked through these experiences, she showed him the type of person that he wanted to be in life. Someone with a passion for helping others who is caring, hard-working and never quits when facing whatever obstacles life throws their way. Needless to say, Terelle feels as though he owes his mother the world as he knows he would not be the person he is today without her.
Terelle also mentioned that his favorite cartoon character is Ironman. Starting from when he only appeared in the animated series, he pursues advancements in technology to protect others, push society forward, and change the world for the better. Terelle’s favorite genre of music is currently Old-school rap, pop, and hip-hop, and his favorite quote is “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants” – Isaac Newton. He believes this statement encompasses the importance of seeking out mentors, and becoming one yourself, which is something that Virginia Tech emphasizes as well.