Bryan Jardines ’21 is a second-generation American and a first-generation college student. His background speaks strongly as to why this young man has fully immersed himself in the opportunities college has to offer him both in and outside of the classroom.
“I’ve always been the one to look out for my family. I’m the oldest of my siblings, and I want to be a role model,” Jardines says. “My dad died during my first year in college, which encouraged me to take my health and studies seriously. I want to be a guide to my younger family members and show them that they can have more than what they have now.”
He says, “The opportunity came to go to college, and I had never lived outside of Florida, so I thought it would be a great choice. Financial literacy was something I could use myself and bring back to my community, which is why I chose my major.”
One thing that has kept Jardines empowered at the Whitman School is the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. “I joined in 2019; it was everything I wanted and more,” he says. “AKP is a diverse community of people that are like-minded but also bring unique perspectives. It is one of the greatest opportunities I have had thus far to learn about professional development.”
Jardines served as a professional chair of AKP, which entailed setting up speaker and networking events, but has since been elected as president of the fraternity. He says, “I always want to give back to organizations that helped me, and I felt honored that my peers trusted me to lead them.”
Jardines has represented Syracuse University’s chapter of AKP at multiple conferences around the country like the Principled Business Leadership Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as the 2019 National AKP Convention in Dallas, Texas.
On-campus, Jardines is also part of the finance board for Syracuse University’s Student Association. “We handle the budgets for all of the recognized organizations on campus. We help organize the allocation of money and assist clubs with budgeting at the end of each semester,” says Jardines, who noted that he enjoys staying aware and being engaged of what is happening on campus.
As if that isn’t enough for this ambitious student, Jardines is also involved with La L.U.C.H.A, a Latinx community service organization on campus. Right now, he is helping with a heritage project called Abuelita, which educates and honors Hispanic grandmothers.
While Jardines has had many positive influences through his various roles, he also acknowledges that the Whitman Career Center has made a significant impact on him. He says, “When I first joined as professional chair of AKP, I went to the Whitman Career Center with the mindset of helping my organization, but as I spent time with Kara Primrose (director of career services) and Kyle Danzey (assistant director of career services), I realized the services there aren’t just for organizations; they can also help individuals.”
Jardines admits that being the first person in his family to go to college has exposed him to challenges that he wasn’t necessarily prepared for, but this hasn’t steered him away from opportunity. He advises other first-generation students to “Throw yourself out there, and go to club fairs and events. You will learn about organizations and ways to get involved. Find something that interests you and a sense of community. Once you have a community on campus, the sky’s the limit.”
Learn more about other Whitman students and their experiences.