A junior majoring in global fitness and wellness, Alexander De La Cruz may seem like the typical student, but when not going to classes on a daily basis; he is an emergency medical technician (EMT).
De La Cruz is a brother of the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE).
"I decided to join [fall of 2015]. I didn't have major interest in it but I did know about Greek life because I had some friends who were involved in it," he comments.
He continues to say that after talking to a few of his friends who are in Greek life -- some now brothers -- helped him decide to join a fraternity.
"I chose TKE because to how I feel about joining a fraternity; it is really about where you feel at home and where you can feel yourself. So I chose them because I felt like they were very strong with brotherhood."
At TKE, he is the historian -- updating the social media websites when needed -- as well as the assistant new member educator.
De La Cruz, as mentioned before, is an EMT and currently works at two Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in N.J., North Bergen EMS and Fairview EMS.
"At Fairview EMS, I started out as a volunteer, and then when I moved out to North Bergen that was my first paid service," he explains. He also explains that volunteering was a great way for him to give back to the community. "My main reason [of being an EMT], personally, is I just wanted to help people. It is a great way for me to give back."
Although being an EMT may have its downsides, De La Cruz mentions that being an EMT can be rewarding.
"It is rewarding seeing the look on people's faces when you help them and that some people really appreciate it. Because you hear a lot of EMTs that are underappreciated but I didn't become an EMT to be appreciated...I did it because I want to help people. And [people] being able to look at you and say 'thank you' means a lot to me; being able to be there for someone in the moment they need you means a lot to me."
Being an EMT, De La Cruz witnesses tough situations that are not just physically draining but also mentally. De La Cruz mentions an accident he had responded to in North Bergen. A car accident had occurred that involved an intoxicated driver and three teenagers. Being an EMT and viewing situations like the one said above, sets examples of how to be safer while on the road.
De La Cruz comments that although this is his side job right now, he will not pursue this as a career. He might continue this as a side job until he gets a job in the field he wants to go into.
Speaking of De La Cruz's career, he wants to go into athletic training. After graduating from Kean University, he would like to attend graduate school and get a masters degree in exercise science.
"I've always been involved in sports in high school," he comments. "I wrestled in high school so I spent a lot of time going to the trainer's office...I like the atmosphere as well as getting to know all the athletes. I also like learning more about the body and it goes hand in hand with EMT."
Many students are like De La Cruz, someone who is involved on and off campus. Getting involved on campus and meeting new people or -- like what De La Cruz has done -- getting a side job that applies to whichever field one would like to get into. College is what one makes of it.