Sometimes venturing outside Lehigh for involvement opportunities can lead to personal discovery. Students who serve as brand representatives and bring new ideas to campus find that doing so can help them form tighter bonds with the community.
While there are many traditional ways for students to get involved through clubs and offices at Lehigh, some students have taken it upon themselves to participate in social content platforms and representative programs that are not located directly on campus.
Serving the community
Dustin Barr, ‘16, is a brand ambassador for Bombas, a company that tries to spread awareness about the need for socks in homeless shelters by donating a pair of socks for every pair sold.
Barr first heard about Bombas through the television series “Shark Tank” and was drawn to the company’s philanthropic roots.
“The company is truly about making the world a better place,” Barr said. “Imagine if you didn’t have socks. How would you feel? Most of us take socks for granted.”
Barr said that the company was launched after founders Randy Goldberg and David Heath found out that socks were the most requested clothing item in homeless shelters.
Barr dedicates four to five hours per week running the Bombas team, or colony, that he recruited. The colony is working towards a partnership with the Victory House, an organization that provides food and shelter for homeless men in the Bethlehem area.
“It will be nice to have a strong connection with the Victory House because we will then have a stronger connection with the community,” Barr said.
Much like Barr, Carine Leslie, ‘17, has also recognized the value of her position as editor in chief of Lehigh’s chapter of The Odyssey, an online lifestyle publication aimed at a college audience.
“Getting involved online is an interesting dynamic because you have to trust that people will reply to your emails, text you back and, ultimately, stay on top of everything,” Leslie said.
Leslie, who has been in her position since last semester, got involved with the website because of her love for writing and initially served as a contributing editor.
“I am a psychology major, so besides research papers I do not get to write very much,” Leslie said. “The Odyssey is a way for me to follow my passion for writing while helping others.”
Leslie said that being involved with a social media platform is different from a conventional campus club because all of the writing, and the comments regarding that writing that is posted online.
She said that handling sensitive subjects has to be done tactfully because it is so easy for anyone to just post their opinions online.
Jordan Cutler, ‘19, is also focused on working with students of all majors, as he is an ambassador for Pymetrics, a career-search platform that aids students in finding jobs and interests.
“Career tests are typically multiple choice and boring,” Cutler said. “Pymetrics is actually engaging because it involves playing games.”
Cutler said he initially got involved with Pymetrics because he received an email asking him to participate in their games and ultimately found them to be helpful.
“I am in CSB, and it is always hard figuring out what I want to do because there are so many options,” Cutler said. “I tried the games because I was hoping Pymetrics could help me narrow down my choices.”
Leslie said that writing and editing for The Odyssey has made her a stronger writer and more confident in pursuing the things that she wants. Barr also believes that becoming a Bombas ambassador has changed him for the better.
“I have learned that constant communication is a key part in making any program a success,” he said. “I’ve learned that you need patience any time you are working with others.”