Connor Randel, Barry University

Connor RandelConnor Randel is an exceptional student leader engaged in promoting financial literacy and social entrepreneurship in the community. A finance and accounting major at Barry University, he has supervised a financial literacy program for two years at a high school located in an underserved area. The program forms the service-learning component of a course designed to teach personal finance and investing. So far, more than 120 high-school students have benefited from the program. Additionally, Connor has assisted in planning a social entrepreneurship project under the aegis of the Community Learning Partnership of Greater Miami Shores, and he has participated in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, helping local community members to prepare their tax returns. Connor has shown considerable potential for making a difference in the lives of marginalized people and for motivating others to get involved.
-President Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD, Barry University

I can’t say I have always had a passion for being involved in the community. Upon reflection on my high school days, I can admit I made an effort to distance myself from community service. I am not pleased with this version of myself; but when I look back at how far I have come since then, it is hard not to smile. I was skeptical when I accepted the position as the Director of Community Service for my university’s Student Managed Investment Fund. I was brought in to implement a financial literacy program for a senior class at a local high school. My skepticism quickly faded to fulfillment as I engaged with the future of America. Their enthusiasm for learning about finance from a college student blew me away. I gained just as much, if not more from these students. In my four years, I have been privileged to grant a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, coach local youth soccer players, offer free tax preparation, and implement a “shark tank” for local middle and high school social entrepreneurs. Each of these experiences has transformed me into the man I am today, a man with a pay-it-forward approach to life.  
-Connor Randel