Finding Belonging on Campus with Tommy

Segment #12 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute


Let me introduce you to Tommy, a junior from Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Passionate about electrical engineering, Tommy also plays for the RPI football team. Tommy’s gonna tell us how he found belonging on campus. Tommy, take it away.

– Thanks, Alex. Hey everyone. I first became interested in electronics as a kid when I wanted to learn how a remote control car worked. Growing up, I worked on more projects and midway through my high school career, I knew I wanted to study something related to engineering and electronics. I grew up here on campus. While my mom was attending RPI to get her PhD, she and my dad were taking care of me and my twin brother. I chose RPI because of the familiarity I had with its campus and the community, and I knew it was a great school academically and athletically. I’m the National Society of Black Engineers Treasurer, on the football team, and a part of other campus organizations. What I learned by joining all these clubs and organizations is that RPI fosters a sense of diversity and inclusion. I’ve made many friends along the way and I’m glad I encouraged myself to get involved. RPI has helped me meet new people, try new things, and I don’t feel out of place. I’m happy I picked a school that aided in my personal development. RPI has more than 200 clubs and organizations for students to immerse themselves in outside of the classroom. RPI’s identity-based clubs and organizations make everyone feel welcome and included. There are other clubs on campus that offers students a chance to be creative. Whatever it is you are interested in, you are going to find something for you. Throughout my time here at RPI, I’ve learned to work for what I want. I’ve had to learn to take the initiative, to make conversations with others in order to form connections. I’ve improved my leadership skills and I’ve become a better student. Whatever it is you may struggle with, RPI will help you reach your full potential. That’s all from me, Alex, back to you.

– Tommy, what a great story. Thank you for telling us about RPI’s welcoming environment. RPI has affinity groups and an office dedicated to multicultural programs. These resources go a long way to help foster community right here at RPI. Thanks again.

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