Miguel Alcorn started rapping in high school with a friend. The more he studied the work of artists like Wale and Propaganda, the more he wanted to learn about his newfound passion.

Rapping about the challenges within his family and about the everyday struggles he faces as a minority male makes him feel empowered, he said, and helps him process his emotions.

In 2014, Alcorn enrolled at San Antonio College as an English major and started performing at open mic nights to establish himself in the local rap and poetry scene.

For Alcorn, the road to graduation has been paved with challenges, but he said he will not be defined by stereotypes.

“Minority males are so much [more] likely to fail and not go to college,” he said. “As I’ve gone through school, I’ve kind of seen that happen with a bunch of my friends. If I tell someone that I’m half black and I come from a single-parent home [they say], ‘Oh, he’s not going to graduate.’

“I’m not falling into that.”

With one semester of school left and the release of his first album, Tree of Broken Hearts, imminent, Alcorn is staying true to the acronym of his artistic name, AJM: ambition, justice, and motivation.

Kathryn Boyd-Batstone is a California native and a graduate of the University of Oregon. She moved to San Antonio in December 2015 to join The Rivard Report team as photographer and videographer.