An avid sports enthusiast, Sebastian Waldron '14 is from Saranac Lake, N.Y., a small town about a 10-minute drive from Lake Placid, N.Y., which hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1932 and 1980. The self-described "die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan" played basketball throughout his years in high school, but his biggest passion is giving back to those in need.
An English major, Waldron's volunteer work includes helping to raise money for children in need in Mtwapa, Kenya, in East Africa.
"In Kenya, the government claims that school is free for all children, but if you cannot pay for a uniform, shoes or school supplies, then you are not allowed to go to school," Waldron explained. "So many children in Kenya do not even have the opportunity for an education."
In high school, he became involved with the Reason2Smile organization after its founder came to speak at his school. "After the speech, I was so moved, I e-mailed her, and ever since then we have spent many times raising money," Waldron said.
"I love learning about the world, and different cultures," he said. "I have always wanted to be a sportswriter someday, but my ultimate goal would be to start a successful non-profit organization."
Waldron says he volunteers for many different reasons.
"Whether it is helping re-build a local neighborhood in a city near me, or helping starving children in Africa, I have always had a passion for helping people and giving back, and that is what I hope to be doing with my life someday."
In his freshman year, "I think that I can bring a lot to MCLA," Waldron said. "First of all, I plan to participate in as much community service as I possibly can. Also, I hope to be a great student. And when I become an upper classmen, I will always be there to help people. I now consider the people at MCLA my family, and I want to be there for them because I know they have been there for me."
Waldron said he chose MCLA for a variety of reasons.
"It is an incredibly affordable school. Of course that is not the only reason," he explained. "I visited here twice, and it seemed like a school that was on the upswing and had really turned itself around. Also, everyone here was incredibly friendly to me, and that makes all of the difference. MCLA has a very great thing going, and I just wanted to be a small part of it."
The best thing about MCLA, he said, is the campus community. "They are always there for you. In the beginning of the semester when I was homesick, I received an unbelievable amount of support. Everyone here is approachable and an absolute pleasure to talk to. There is a real sense of family and togetherness here, and that is because of the amazing people."
MCLA has changed Waldron's outlook.
"I don't know if that is what happens when you go to any college, but being at MCLA has really helped me learn so much more about life, and has shown me a guided path to where I want to get to," he said.