Zach Atkins, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, has proven himself as an engaged student and a leader on campus and in the community. In addition to double majoring in Psychology and Communication, Zach is also pursuing certificates in Mental Health and Conflict Analysis and Resolution. While maintaining an excellent academic record, Zach dedicates his time and talents to several campus organizations. He serves as both a Success Coach and Peer Advisor in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, helping other Parkside students successfully navigate their college experience. Zach is also passionate about sharing his skills to benefit others in his community. He has worked for a local nonprofit that provides recreational activities for people with developmental disabilities and serves as a teaching counselor at an agency that supports clients experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis. Also, he has volunteered for the annual PowerUp event to assist local Racine and Kenosha students with preparing for college. As a member of the executive board of the Black Student Union and a member of the Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity incorporated, Zach initiates, develops, and coordinates retention-based programs to assist student peers as well.
I first became involved in addressing issues of inequality and helping my community out by my family involving me in various community events. As I got older, I not only saw how inequalities affected both my own family but also how my family was always willing to help out others. This both inspired me to be a catalyst for both my own community and communities across the spectrum. My family always taught me to play an active role in society by utilizing my talents to give back and broaden my knowledge on the experiences of others. My undergrad experience has been no different. On campus, I am fortunate to be surrounded by other amazing leaders through my leadership in Black Student Union, recent presidency and active brother of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc., and past involvements like Active Minds. These student organizations all are about the people and raising awareness on critical social issues. Outside of campus, I also am involved with helping my community out through non profit organizations. This past summer I was an assistant director of a camp for people with disabilities and currently I am a teaching counselor for people undergoing mental health or substance abuse crisis. All of these opportunities have allowed me to use my skills to bring my community up.