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Last updated Tuesday, March 18, 2021 A Publication of the Office of Marketing & Communications

SGA VP Wins Newman Civic Fellowship

Jahad Hoyte
Jahad Hoyte

That Jahad Hoyte ’20 is pursuing a degree in Aviation Administration – Professional Pilot is no surprise to those who know him. His academic and career paths have been obvious to friends and family who have paid attention to his life-long passion.

“Since I was a child I was always obsessed with the idea of airplanes,” said Jahad. “It was at the age of 15 when my first experience of flying a plane with an instructor completely revolutionized my life. As the wheels of that aircraft touched the pavement I knew from then on that I wanted to become a pilot. Fast forward to my senior year of high school, when I began looking for colleges to attend.  Farmingdale State College was my Number One choice because of the extraordinary benefits and opportunities the campus has for aviation.”

Those benefits and opportunities – and how Jahad has taken advantage of them – led to his being nominated for a Newman Civic Fellowship, which begins this fall. It is awarded by Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,000 colleges and universities committed to supporting the next generation of public problem solvers in their personal, professional, and civic growth. Jahad said he is already brainstorming with his Newman mentor about how to best take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“I’m thrilled to once again have a Newman Fellow at Farmingdale State College,” said Dr. Miriam Deitsch, director of the Social Science Research Institute and Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Anthropology. “We are so proud of Jahad.”

Now, beyond is zeal for flying, is something else that has woven itself into the fabric of Jahad’s life, and that is service to the community – both on campus and beyond. So much so that he is concentrating on political science courses to feed his new passion, which was first ignited when he became vice president of the Student Government Association. (He is running for president for the upcoming fall/spring academic year.)

“I’ve learned you must stand for those who are voiceless. As time progressed, my involvement in the community, the FSC campus, and SUNY strengthened my interest in social justice issues. As such, I’ve shifted my academic focus to political science and recently sought opportunities at local non-profit organizations to learn more about the social issues in our society. My long-term goal is to hold political office one day so that I can utilize the knowledge I’ve gained to implement policies that support those in my community who are in need.”

No doubt the Newman judges were also impressed with Jahad’s internship, with the LI non-profit, Erase Racism. The social justice internship – funded by the Horace and Amy Hagedorn Fund – came through the Social Science Research Institute. Eva Pearson, program director of the Institute, has been Jahad’s mentor.

“Erase Racism’s mission is to provide assistance to minorities who may face inequitable chances for success in the education, residential housing, and other pertinent areas,” Jahad said.  “I’m researching the policies of Long Island school districts to ascertain if they have restorative justice practices implemented. These practices assist in educating students on their negative behavior, rather than the student being suspended.”

So it looks like Jahad – if all goes as planned – will be flying himself to political rallies and his Washington or Albany legislative office. And he will use his position as a legislator to advocate for the underrepresented and voiceless.

“I came to Farmingdale State College wanting to view the horizon from an airplane. However, my experiences as a student have enabled me to view the world from a much broader horizon, one filled with leadership and service to the community.”

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