Anyone who spent time on Main Campus this past year likely crossed paths with Jason Mays, president of the Student Government Association (SGA).
Mays seemed to be everywhere. He supported the first free book exchange hosted by students. He represented students by contributing insights to the Presidential Search Committee, the Institution-Wide Committee and the Middle States Reaccreditation Committee. He worked alongside fellow veterans, helping them transition to college. He was spotted in the corridors of the Mint Building, directing students who had lost their way.
These are just a few of the reasons Mays, 30, was named Student Leader of the Year during an April 10 Student Leadership Awards ceremony. Others honored that evening included students Jamere Lawrence, (Outstanding Leadership); Felici Wilcox (Outstanding Service); Stephen Fortt (College Mission Award); Juan Quintero (Outstanding Innovation); and Aaron Hill who received the Rising Star Award.
Mays blossomed into a leader over time, Steve Bachovin, coordinator of the Veterans Resource Center recently told a reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News. “Jason was very shy, very introverted when he came here,” Bachovin said. Mays said he took small steps at first, joining the Veterans Club, and later the dance club Ritmo Latino. “I just kind of wanted to come here for classes, then leave,” he said. “It was at the direction of the social worker at the Veterans Administration that I joined the Latin dance club and started to open up.”
Military service helped him develop leadership capability as well. “In the Army I learned that to be a team leader, you have to respect your team. When you’re actually in the field, you learn that respect goes both ways,” Mays said.
That perspective proved useful at a highly diverse College where he inspired students across generations to collaborate, solve problems and serve the community.
A member of the Class of 2014, Mays recently earned an Associate in Arts in Business Administration. He has been accepted at Drexel University, though he has not yet decided on a transfer institution.
Instead, he plans to take a few additional classes at the College this fall and spring, and complete a second term as SGA president. Students re-elected him in April.
While representing his peers, Mays believes he found his true calling — politics. “I’ve sort of become interested in continuing to serve the people around me,” he said.