Kyle Bueno, a junior at Bridgewater State University, exemplifies many of the qualities of a servant leader through his involvement in student government and in civic engagement and community service initiatives. His participation in these areas has provided a platform with which he empowers others on campus to collaborate in an effort to bring about positive change. Whether through his role in student government, as the Student Trustee on the BSU Board of Trustees, as a Resident Assistant for the first year service-based residential learning community or as a student leader for the Alternative Break Trip program, Kyle spends his time at BSU engaged and inspiring others to act. This year, along with his peers, Kyle worked to launch the Bridgewater Stands United grassroots effort inviting BSU students, faculty, staff and administrators to join and take a stand against divisiveness and fear to unify the community. Kyle has developed a strong network on campus to assist him as he continues to encourage his peers to feel empowered to take a stand for their beliefs, participate in their government and to actively engage in their communities to make positive and lasting change.
As a first-generation college student, I am privileged to attend Bridgewater State University. BSU has provided me with the necessary tools to engage in social justice and civic engagement. As a sophomore, I participated in an Alternative Winter Break trip to Apopka, FL, where I learned about immigration policy and advocacy and listened to personal stories from undocumented immigrants. The experience was powerful and because of this trip, I felt empowered to make a difference in my own community. After my return, I brainstormed ways I could affect social justice issues currently facing today's students.
This year, I collaborated with two of my peers to start a grassroots movement called Bridgewater Stands United. The kickoff event was a campus march bringing together students, faculty, staff and administrators to support campus unity. Bridgewater Stands United has helped to ignite the fire within our student body to become more active within the community. It started important social justice conversations and most importantly, it has increased student activism on this campus by channeling high energy into productive conversations and action. My hope is to inspire students around me to make positive changes not only on this campus, but also in their respective communities.