My boys were already asleep when I came home. My husband asked, “How did the photoshoot go?” I replied, “He’s someone I want our boys to be when they graduate.”
One could argue Justin comes from a background of privilege. And my own childhood is a stark contrast. I do credit my success and grit to having had an impoverished upbringing. I thus am always conscious of making sure my kids thrive “in spite” of their privilege – that they do not become spoiled, that they remain curious and humble. Justin is the epitome of creating his own success in spite of his privilege.
Among his accomplishments: graduated from Penn State within 3 years, elected to be a student marshal, founded We Are! Karaoke group, formed a music band (with live performances), obtained a pilot license, and I’m probably missing a mile-long list. My favorite thing about Justin though? The way he smiled at me and said, “This photoshoot is all for Mom. Let’s do what makes her happy.”
I knew before we met that I’d really enjoy working with Justin. My first impression of him was via email, where I was immediately amazed with his insights. His advice for first year students? “In deciding amongst all the potential involvements and activities available at Penn State, never commit to anything merely for the resume (as so many do). Instead of taking on commitments using a consumeristic perspective, examine what you can personally add to an organization or cause. The places you can add the most value are also the areas you’ll derive the most satisfaction and fulfillment.”
Enjoy these pictures and hear more insights from Justin in the video below!