Richard Gordon, a second year non-traditional student, is an active student leader who has organized in collaboration with GRIP/Isaiah, (a faith-based community organization) an effort to persuade our elected officials and political leaders to extend the Northstar commuter rail to the city of St Cloud. This effort has resulted in the inception of a new inter-collegiate student organization called the Collegiate Association for Community Involvement, (CACI) which has engaged student membership from the College of Saint Benedict's and St. Cloud State University. Richard's own passion for public transportation and his personal commitment to reducing the carbon footprint in our community has made him a valued contributor to the public transportation efforts. His public speeches, one-on-one meetings with community leaders, and presentations to students on the issue of transportation have made him a recognized leader in discussions on public transportation and the Northstar extension. Richard is an exceptional speaker and capable leader who has generated excitement and energy for a wide range of projects. His potential for bringing about improvements in the quality of life and public transportation and inspiring others to get involved, is unlimited.
I have not always been as civically involved as I am today; nor had I ever developed a passion for civic engagement until I arrived in St. Cloud a little over a year ago. I came to St. Cloud with the intention of completing a Bachelor's degree and starting a non-profit hydroponics facility. I have this crazy idea that communities should have as much access to fresh fruit and vegetables as a healthy human being has to the air that we breathe. Key words-FOR FREE. Currently I am working on getting better access to and from the metro area for the greater St. Cloud area, by pushing for the inclusion of the proposed extension of the Northstar commuter rail in our transportation bill. I have been working on this campaign since the beginning of last semester and from what I can tell it looks like it's going to happen, based on the responses that we've received from elected officials. This is my first big project and I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have this opportunity, and to possibly contribute to this community in a way that will change it forever.