Jeremy Ducos Assistant Director, Student Activities and Leadership Development Office: Student Affairs Campus: Manhattan
Member of NYIT Since: 2010
If there are two words that sum up the ethos of Jeremy Ducos, they are "students first." That's the reason he came to NYIT in the first place.
"We can get to our 2030 goals by letting students lead us," he says.
Ducos' initiatives include organizing the Alternative Spring Break service trip; working with students to raise more than $1,000 on Sept. 22 for Help Haiti Now, a nonprofit for earthquake relief in Haiti; and helping to bring compelling speakers such as the Egyptian Counsel General Youssef Zada to campus.
This year's Alternative Spring Break Project will be in Peru, March 17-25, 2012 (student applications are now open), and a new alternative break trip for this winter session is in the planning stages.
"We want everyone to know the Alternative Spring Break program because it's a global initiative," Ducos says. "It helps students, faculty, and staff understand the hardships faced by other countries."
Ducos learned this firsthand when he traveled last March with 10 NYIT students to Independencia, Peru, one of the country's poorest neighborhoods. The group helped build a soccer field and design water purification techniques, and volunteered at an orphanage in the capital city, Lima.
"The work was not as easy as it looked," Ducos says. "For the soccer field, everything was made from scratch. We mixed concrete, put it into barrels, and lifted it up hills. Our only equipment was a shovel, barrel, pair of gloves, and a pick."
Civic engagement is important to Ducos, whose mother imparted this value. "She helped a lot of people in our community," he says.
Another family member – his cousin Dennise Calderon-Barrera – further shaped his perspective by taking him on cultural excursions, including Shakespeare in the Park in New York City.
"What empowered me was having someone there to change my mindset in life," Ducos says. "I believe there are many students out there looking for this helping hand."