Page intro (story)

“As a study-abroad student, service leader, and young professional, Rutgers taught me not to settle for anything less than what I know I am capable of. I realized that I could be my own boss doing something I am truly passionate about. ”
John's Story
Social Work
School of Arts & Sciences-Newark
Rutgers University–Newark

John's Story

The experience that shaped me for life!

College is usually a one-time thing and it passes by quickly, it’s a time to learn so much about yourself and the world around you. Take this opportunity you have been given to join the RU-N family and be active not only in class but also in organizations, and the emerging Newark community.

Currently, I am the Co-Founder of Our Travels, an international service learning initiative which I launched upon graduating from RU-N's College of Arts and Sciences. I serve as a Program Director, traveling to various countries throughout the year and providing sustainable resources and services to people and countries, which we travel to for programs and initiatives. I ultimately want to leave any community I encounter better than I found it, through our pay-it-forward programs, ideas, and a gift to the community at large. That is fulfilling my life's purpose.

I held various leadership roles in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Dance team leader in Latinos United Networking America (LUNA), and Senator At-Large for the Rutgers Student Government Association. Each of these experiences showed me that I had the ability to be an effective leader and I also learned as much as I could about myself, while working with various teams and a wide range of people of different backgrounds.

The 2016 RU-N International Leadership Exchange Program (ILE) to Nicaragua was one of the programs at Rutgers University-Newark that profoundly impacted me. My trip to Nicaragua was my green light to step up and be a service leader despite the challenges and obstacles against me. The program to Nicaragua developed three passions: my love for people, service, and travel together in one place. If it had not been for this program, I would not have the experience and understanding of what it takes to run my own international service programs within Our Travels. The ILE program was crucial to my learning about sustainable service, travel, development, political climates, history, and really a hands-on experience outside of of my US community.