Monday, August 12, 2019

Alumni Spotlight: Jo Boileau


From Vol State student to Purdue University's student body president, Jo Boileau sums up his success in one word: Grind. That's the singular word I use to describe being where I am,” he said. “I took a path I wasn't expecting to take, was humbled greatly, and when I got to this world-class institution, I knew I wasn't about to let the opportunities here pass me by.”        Since becoming student body president, his primary role has been to serve as a conduit between students and the administration. “Most importantly I would say, it’s our job to communicate our vision as students with the students,” he said. Jo majors in Political Science with an emphasis on International Relations and minors in Environmental Global Politics. He graduated Vol State in December 2017 and began at Purdue the following January. “At Vol State, I declared as [a] Political Science [major]. I’ve always had an interest in government. For a long time, I wasn’t sure where that interest was going to take me.”

Prior to becoming student body president in April 2019, Jo completed a summer internship in New York City for the United Nations with the Republic of the Marshall Islands, a small Pacific country that is on the verge of disappearing as a result of climate change. The Marshall Islands have been near and dear to his heart since he first represented them in high school with Model United Nations, an educational simulation of the UN where students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the UN as a whole.

At the UN I was an environmental policy and climate initiative intern ... I was helping them work on sustainability pathway documents that were up for a midterm review last year, which was super cool.”
Jo seems to have a solid passion for making the world a better place. My passion for solving problems comes from a burning desire to leave things better off than I found them. As cliché as that sounds, it's true. I realized a long time ago that I'm fortunate to be able to get an education, and to be in the positions I'm in, so I better use them to uplift the people around me who otherwise don't have those opportunities or equitable access to the means to achieve their dreams.”
Jo has traveled to Columbia with Purdue’s Model UN team and recently returned from a stint in Poland with General Electric this past July. There he worked with GE and the Polish government to study sustainable energy practices of Eastern Europe. I owe so much to my professors at Vol State for helping get me in the right headspace, and for helping to fuel my drive when I didn't even know which gear to be in. Professors Scott McMillan, Carole Bucy, and David Fuqua had incredibly profound impacts on me, and I credit them so much for getting me where I am today.”
Jo continues to carve his own path through this world. Who knows where your own path will lead you. -By Rachel Keyes

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