This qualitative research study utilized the stories of ten African American community college STEM transfer students to explore STEM identity formation, the role race played in this identity formation, the educational experiences that influenced the development of a STEM identity, and how the STEM identity aided in their persistence to STEM degree completion. This study explored perceived factors that affected persistence for African American community college transfer students, and compared and contrasted these findings to foundational theories on persistence across a broad audience, and to those that took into account challenges faced by specific minority communities. Three major themes emerged from this study: ‘STEM is a Part of Who I Am’, ‘Breaking Through Barriers’, and ‘Even if I Am the Only One, I Have Support’. The findings from this study suggested that STEM identity was solidified by an internal sense of belonging in STEM and highlighted the importance of human interactions in the formation of STEM identity, and positive educational experiences stemming from early childhood. The student’s connection with STEM identity seemed to be one of the strongest motivators to encourage resilience, which resulted in persistence. The implications for this research provided data to support cultivation of educational environments that are inclusive and supportive of minority students in STEM educational environments.