Aaron Eichelberger, Winthrop University
Aaron Eichelberger is an excellent example of our next generation’s public problem solvers and civic leaders. A Junior Economics major at Winthrop University, Aaron’s approach to addressing the root cause of social issues is through community empowerment and resource development. Following graduation, Aaron plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Urban Development and a career in community capacity building. Aaron’s interest in Urban Development and community capacity building stems from his experiences volunteering in college. As a United Way volunteer, Aaron worked with TEAMS, a summer enrichment program designed to prepare at-risk fifth graders for middle school. This experience inspired Aaron to develop his own program, GENTS Academy. GENTS Academy pairs Winthrop male volunteers with at-risk middle school boys for mentorship and life skills education. As director of this successful program, Aaron works with local schools to identify participants (currently 17), collaborates with community partners for space and support, trains and manages volunteers, prepares curriculum, and works with parents. One of Aaron’s many strengths is his ability to educate others on social issues, empowering students to serve. Aaron provides valuable campus student leadership, and has taken on leadership roles with Alternative Spring Break, MLK Day of Service, and Residence Life.