When new opportunities present themselves, so too does newfound friendships, adventures, and careers. ENMU Alumni, Eric Estep, has experienced all the above and much more. Upon graduating in 2005, with a Bachelor of Science in Communication (an emphasis in Public Relations), Estep set out for Greensboro, NC. Throughout his time in Greensboro, he obtained his first coaching job at A&T State University where he coached for five years.
Today, he is in his 4th year with the Greensboro Fire Department and holds the rank of Sr. FF. The journey to get to where he is now was not an easy road; Estep has admitted it took six tries to be hired.
On his off days from Engine 10, Estep manages his own business, E Fitness. Established in 2010, E Fitness has generated high popularity amongst community members. Estep trains 8 to 14 clients a day.
“I can proudly say that what I learned at ENMU was instrumental in me building my business into the success it is today,” said Estep. “All the classes about design, event management, press releases etc., have played instrumental roles for my business. So, thank you to all those who made a lasting impact on me, especially Dr. Patti Dobson and Dr. Janet Roehl.”
Estep has since, “fine-tuned” the skills acquired at ENMU. He says that networking has become a great skill to possess.
When he is free, Estep finds comfort in spending time with his best friend and fiancé, Jessica Smith. Together they enjoy taking hikes with their dogs, attending sporting events, drive in movies, and playing cards.
Their story of romance is unlike any other you may find. In fact, the couple met when on Facebook, later went on a date, and developed a close friendship. Now, they are getting married!
“On our first date we asked each other what our very favorite restaurant was and we both said ‘Something Different’ in Portales, NM!” said Estep. “I was stunned when she said that.”
After tackling their first adventure together, this couple has decided to compete for a chance to win their dream wedding. Bella Collina has chosen the couple for the top 3 out of 680 other couples to win a once-in-a-lifetime wedding. Voting for this beautiful couple is February 7-13 at 10 a.m. You can go and vote as many times as you want. Please support your fellow alumni and future Mrs. Estep. Congratulations!
(Below is a note from Eric and Jessica. To vote please visit: http://www.smithestep.com/ )
What’s at stake?
It would be hard to capture our love in one day, but if any location could, it would be the Bella Collina Mansion. It would mean the world to us to have a wedding that exemplifies our love and commitment to each other. As a firefighter and teacher, though both rewarding careers in many areas, financially rewarding they are not. We are humbled and thankful for the chance to win this experience.
Why choose us?
Adversity hits every couple. That’s a given. It's the manner in which the couple responds that shows the true strength of their love and commitment to one another. Well, we have been tested as individuals and as a couple. Without hesitation, we FIGHT for each other. We have stepped up to be a rock for one another and to take care of each other’s families in times of need.
Whether it’s flashbacks of my mom surviving a near-deadly motorcycle wreck (hit by a drunk driver and I was one of the first on scene to treat her). Or, my mom receiving 3rd degree burns on her face, chest and arms during a kitchen fire, there’s Jess, my rock. When Jessica’s closest friend (whom she considers her sister) was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer recently, Jessica took off of work (made me a week’s worth of meals), flew to New Hampshire and took care of her friend’s new born baby and accompanied her to her first several chemo treatments. That’s the type of woman Jessica is.
We sometimes replace saying, “I love you,” with “Thank you.” Weird, perhaps…but, it’s our thing. We say that instead because we are thankful for each other and thankful for the effort that we both put in to make the other happy. We do this EVERYDAY. It’s a goal for us to make life easier for the other one. Examples: Whoever brushes their teeth first will put toothpaste on the other’s toothbrush. Or, whoever is in the shower will have slippers awaiting them when they step out. If I’m off from the fire department, you better believe she will be coming home to a clean house so that she can relax and grade papers! When I finish up from my second job on my off-days, she has dinner ready for us (yes, whoever cooks is exempt from washing dishes)!
Words cannot express how lucky we both feel. We love to share our story because love like this is rare. Both of our parents have had multiple divorces. Marriage had never been a step either of us looked forward to making. Now, we are thrilled by the idea. Forever isn’t long enough for us to have with one another. Yes, we have trying times. We bicker, don’t always see eye to eye, but we have NEVER gone to bed without kissing goodnight. We communicate and always tell each other how we feel. The devotion and respect we have for one another is limitless. The grass doesn’t get any greener!