Asher Carr, a rising Junior at Penn State University-Altoona, is a great example of a student leader with a unique, ongoing story of success and perseverance. He is a former cadet in the University’s ROTC program as well as President of the Altoona Residence Hall Association. It was his role in the RHA that lead him to CAACURH in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania and the NACURH Conference in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he met up with OCM.
As delegates from different regions travel to these conferences, so travels word of their service to campus and community. Asher caught up with OCM rep Mike Barnes to discuss his perspective on the importance of student leadership.
“[At NACURH] the number of student leaders and their ambition to make a change on their respective campuses was amazing,” reflected Asher on his first national conference. “It is amazing to be around people who will not settle for less and take time to make on-campus life better for their peers.
NACURH highlighted programming that encouraged diversity, sustainability, community, and leadership for delegates to bring back to their campuses. Asher shared how he took notice of this leadership when he was an underclassman on the Penn State campus.
“As a first-year student, I looked for desire and ambition; people who wanted to succeed,” he said. “I wanted to learn from people who brought value to others and had the wisdom to influence them to lead. A person with a burning desire to make things happen was the type of person I viewed as a success story.”
Asher currently writes his own unique success story. At just two days old, Asher underwent open-heart surgery, which granted him another chance to begin his journey. “I try to do a lot because I was really close to not making it. That’s my drive for taking leadership,” he said. The surgery continues to affect some of the goals he set; a desire to serve in the United States military had to be amended as the demands of military training are not conducive to his condition. Asher sees this not as a limitation, but a motivation. He aims to apply his energy to serve as a leader in any way he can.
“If you really want something, I think you have to follow the people who have it and surround yourself with people who are willing to help,” he said. “Don’t let society dictate who you are or what you should do. Success happens on purpose and with a strong desire to succeed, you can literally do anything you want.”
Every student has their own unique story; their own “why” that motivates them. The goal of a college campus, and those who work within it, is to provide opportunities for students to discover that “why”. The best way to take advantage of these opportunities? Get involved.
“I wanted to get involved in the right way [as a first year],” Asher continued. “I joined organizations that interested me the most and stayed committed to helping each organization grow on campus; these lead me to multiple executive board positions. I plan on extending these opportunities.”
With two years left as an undergrad, Asher looks forward to continuing his Business Major with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and eventually starting his own business. Not surprisingly, he also hopes to inspire others through leadership. When asked what he would like to do after starting his own business, he shared he would like to take his mother to Disney World- how’s that for a storybook story?
Keep it up, Asher! For your dedication to R.O.T.C, RHA, your campus and your community, we thank you for your service and your story! Keep leading the way.
OCM’s “Engage U” is designed as a resource that shares positive examples of leadership and stories of success and the pursuit of it with students and professionals alike. In an educational community that spans across our country and abroad, there is an endless number of stories we can learn from. Everyone has a lesson to learn and a lesson to offer- we want to help share. Welcome to “Engage U”! What’s your story?
Connect with us at email@example.com and let us know about a special leader or story from your campus!