Alex Velazquez ’20 is an Economics major with minors in Political Science and Justice and Ethics in the Law. Look out for him and many other students taking over our Undergraduate Admission Office on February 11th, 2018 for our #SJUtakeover!

At the end of every campus tour I give as a Hawk Host, I highlight SJU’s ability to allow students to find and explore their passions. As a low-income student I have always believed that my education is an “equalizer of opportunity.” This has always pushed me to do more, and connected me deeply with Saint Joseph’s value of the magis. I am currently a first-semester junior studying Economics with minors in Political Science and Justice and Ethics in the Law. This past summer I participated in SJU’s Summer Scholars Project, where I developed research on low-income students’ college readiness, while being supported by the University and a faculty mentor, Dr. Laura Crispin. This is where my passion for education transitioned from a personal motivator to a career path. I am now planning on attending law school after my time at St. Joe’s, and plan to focus my work on education law.

Apart from academics and my career, a large part of my life has been centered around music and the arts. This has always been another passion of mine, and as I approached college I was afraid it was something I would have to give up on. However, at St. Joe’s my involvement with the arts has only grown and developed. In my first semester I was cast in the fall theatre production and have continued to take part in every musical since. I have directed and acted in scenes through our student theatre company Followed By a Bear, and have been encouraged to explore the arts through electives, such as voice lessons with Rebecca Siler. When I explained to a political science professor that I was having a difficult time studying for a test that landed on our opening night, she encouraged me to continue doing shows, and worked with my schedule to help make sure I could complete the test successfully.

You may hear the term “caring for the whole person” while visiting our campus. You may think this is cheesy, and just a clever marketing tool; however, this university truly cares about an individual’s passions, beliefs, and ideas, regardless of how diverse they may be. This has made the difference for me. Saint Joseph’s has supported me to find new passions, and develop old ones. Here, I am not just a student, but a person with values and passions.