Helping to rebuild Liberia
Aloysius Street '15 of Worcester, Mass., knows exactly what he's going to do after he graduates from MCLA. Originally from Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa, Street plans to return to help rebuild his homeland.
Once there, the English/communications major - who's concentrating on broadcast media and public relations - may become involved in Liberian politics, or establish a radio station.
"Information is powerful and it should be available to everyone," Street said. "With the mindset and motivation I have, I believe that I'm going to be very successful in terms of helping the world to become a better place."
Street, who moved to the United States with his family when he was 11, explained, "Liberia was plagued by a long, 17-year civil war that destroyed infrastructures, and left the country in chaos. It stands as the world's poorest country: the unemployment rate in Liberia is 85 percent, according to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
"The hopes and aspirations that once roamed the air during my parents' youth are no longer felt. Today, youth look up to returnees like me to draw inspiration from, which will brighten the future of Liberia," Street continued.
"It is imperative that I do something, anything, to help Liberia. I believe it is my generation's responsibility to help rebuild Liberia by moving back and working. Liberia needs its young leaders to make the country prosper, in order for outsiders to come in and help," he said.
To that end, Street aims to establish a relationship with Salem State University through its Peace Corps program, with the goal of sending students from MCLA to Liberia. He hopes MCLA students might further their education by working with the University of Liberia, and local middle and high schools."
A member of MCLA's Student Government Association (SGA) Senate, Street traveled with a group of students to the State House in Boston last spring to advocate for public higher education. The experience inspired him to become involved in politics.
Street's campus activities include serving as the vice president for the Class of 2015 during his freshman year, working as a tutor at the Berkshire Arts and Technology (BArT) school, and for the Pathways Program, which inspires local youth to continue their education.
"These activities have made me a better leader, and a person who understands people's needs," Street said. "Looking back from where I was, I have matured into a responsible adult at MCLA - someone who is willing to reach out his hand to help others."
He continued, "My classes at MCLA are small which, I believe, is good for an educational environment, because professors have the opportunity to help every student individually. MCLA gives students the opportunity to get to know their professors and faculty members."
What's the best part of being an MCLA student? Street says it's the way faculty members and the administrators are supportive of students.
"If a student has an idea that will make the MCLA a better community, or wants to create a club, they have a lot of resources they can go to.
"MCLA is a great school. Everyone knows each other. MCLA is a community that is devoted to strengthening their students to become better leaders once they graduate. I would definitely recommend MCLA to perspective students."