Omar Lyle attended Aurora Hills Middle School from sixth to seventh grade, left Colorado for a few years, and returned to Aurora to finish high school at Gateway High School. The time Omar spent at Gateway opened his eyes to what the real world would be like. His basketball coach, Jeff Sweet, prepared Omar for some of the drill sergeants he would later encounter in the Army. In addition, Sandra Sundine, his math teacher at Gateway, told him that he was not living up to his potential. “She brought me down to Earth and I will always remember her for that,” Omar says.
After Gateway High School, Omar entered the Army, and when he left the Army, he enrolled in Metropolitan State University of Denver. He admits he had to drop out of Metro State because he wasn’t prepared for the college life at the time. After working at various jobs in Aurora, he decided to enroll at the Community College of Aurora in 2008. At CCA, Omar says he learned about a college work ethic and received a lot more care and attention from his instructors because of the smaller class size.
Omar now works as a planning assistant with the City of Aurora’s Community Development Division. In this role, he meets with developers to evaluate environmental plans for development and administers HUD funding to different communities in Aurora. Omar also serves on the veteran’s affairs commission for the City of Aurora.
“CCA was exactly what I needed to figure out what being a student meant,” Omar says. “CCA allowed me to get the college feel – to get into that atmosphere to succeed.”
After attending CCA, Omar finished his bachelor’s degree at University of Colorado Denver, earning a degree in political science.