Justin is one of those students who seems to have a hand in everything. From having a student leadership role, to participating in Honors courses, to being a part of TCC's TRIO program, Justin is widely known for his initiative and commitment to the community.
One of Justin’s passion projects has been raising awareness about sustainability. He helped to coordinate a waste audit at two campuses, something that has resulted in enhanced recycling services as well as financial savings. He has gone on to present his work at several conferences, and his “Zero Waste” project won Phi Theta Kappa’s Best in Region award.
Justin also works actively to destigmatize the issue of mental health. He was instrumental in planning a “Stomp out Stigma” event with TCC’s Wellness Services team. Justin’s determination to succeed in the face of difficult circumstances is truly remarkable. I am so happy that he has chosen to pursue this first part of his educational journey here at TCC, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for him.
Growing up in a challenging environment, I realized that the obstacles I faced could be debilitating if I did not set clear goals and utilize key resources. As I’ve seen the impact that supportive mentors have had on my life, I’ve committed to helping others make the most of their educational experiences. One major barrier I’ve seen to student success is mental health. Although resources are available on our campus, stigma often keeps students from getting help. To combat this, I led the college’s first “Stomp Out Stigma” campaign, encouraging students to focus on mental health.
I also lead the efforts of several service-learning courses and student life groups in conducting a campus waste audit where we examined trash to determine what items could have been recycled had the appropriate receptacles been in place. Our research has led to improved recycling strategies on campus and cost saving measures.
Through utilizing available resources, making data-informed decisions, working collaboratively with others, and implementing manageable action plans, I feel that I’ve been able to make important changes in my community. I’ve found that being a change-agent is addictive; it’s my hope to inspire passion in others, and together we can improve the world.