Isaac Reyes, a second-year student at Bergen Community College (BCC), is a student leader who involves himself in a myriad of different programs and organizations as an advocate for community service and volunteer work. His mission is to strengthen the community by connecting people through service and developing civic leaders. As a chapter officer of Phi Theta Kappa, the official Honors Society for two-year institutions, he has devoted hundreds of hours to organizing events and workshops that equip people with the skills and knowledge that are critical to leadership, professionalism, and student success, in addition to instilling in people an appreciation and passion for service. Also, he champions LGBT+ rights as a student leader within BCC's LGBT+ Alliance Club. Since working with the club, he has helped coordinate a Transgender Day of Awareness panel and a fundraiser for an LGBT+ youth homeless center. Currently, Isaac is working on spreading awareness of LGBT+ issues by establishing a Day of Silence event on campus and creating a panel of religious leaders to discuss the sometimes conflicting identities of being LGBT+ and religious/spiritual.
Since I started volunteering at my local volunteer center, I have become a champion for community service and its power in shaping a stronger society. At the center, I dedicated over 20 hours a week of volunteer work aiding the different project managers in organizing events and office administration. I experienced firsthand the impact community service has on improving the quality of life in communities by enriching and empowering its people with the tools needed to create change. My involvement at the center was what motivated me to go back school and pursue an education. On campus, I became a prominent student leader through my non-stop efforts in engaging and connecting with students to cultivate an environment whose paramount concern is student success and social belonging. Eventually, my work focused on the LGBT+ community at my campus because of the political climate that engulfed the nation following the Orlando nightclub shooting. I approached solving anti-LGBT+ violence by targeting the lack of dialogue about the LGBT+ community and fostering a communal compassion and empathy for its members. For example, I helped develop programs such as Safe Space training for student leaders and Transgender Day of Awareness.