A transfer student from Hudson County College, Megan Barbosa obtained her associate's degree and decided to continue her education at Kean University for her junior year.
Now a senior English writing major, projected to graduate in the Spring of 2017, Barbosa balances a schedule full of extracurricular activities, leadership positions, volunteering, employment and, of course, classes.
She is from Union City, NJ and resides on campus during the semester. When she started at Kean University she noticed that a lot of people were involved here.
"At community college you can get involved but it's not the same because it's a smaller school," Barbosa said. "So I really wanted to get involved so that I could actually have something to look back on when I'm an alumni or when I'm older, like, 'wow I did a lot of stuff at Kean; I did this and that.'"
So Barbosa began getting involved as soon as she could, and by her balancing act of a schedule, it is obvious that this desire to become involved escalated quickly.
There is one experience at Kean University that stands out to Barbosa and that is her first Meet The Greeks event. At this event she began telling herself she wanted to become more involved. Here she learned what Greek life is all about and ended up joining a sorority.
"Then as I became a sister, we did the new member presentations," Barbosa said. "Once that day came I felt like I could conquer the world. I was like, 'wow I did this and I became a sister and now I'm involved at Kean. It was the best feeling."
Barbosa is now Vice President of her sorority, Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Incorporated. As one of only two undergraduate students in this organization she takes on many roles. Along with Vice President position, she also serves as Public Relations Chair, Treasurer and Secretary.
"We make a good balance, the two of us," Barbosa said, "and we have alumni that help us every step of the way."
She is also President of the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), which oversees all Multicultural Greeks on Kean University's campus.
As Multicultural Greek Organizations tend to struggle with numbers, Barbosa found there was a need for the implementation of such a council. There used to be an MGC on campus but all of the members graduated and no one continued to run the group.
Once receiving this information, she contacted all of the Multicultural Greeks about resurrecting the MGC and set up a meeting to discuss the new group's goals, create a constitution and establish an executive board.
With the support of the Alex Louis, the Assistant Director of the Center for Leadership and Service who overlooks Greek life, Barbosa was able to revive the MGC on campus.
When she does not have class, she spends most of her days in the Office of Computer Information Services working as a Student Manager. Her responsibility in this position is to work the help desk and manage the technicians. She receives work orders and then distinguishes which technician can do what and then sends them out to complete the requested tasks.
"I've been there for about a year and a half now," Barbosa said, "and when I started I kind of felt lost."
She is an English major in a world of IT and Computer Science majors, but from her fiscal networking experience in high school, her background enabled her to get the job. Now she is accustomed to and comfortable with the environment and the help and guidance she's received from the warm and welcoming people.
The senior has dreams of becoming a college professor in English, but is also looking to explore the other options her major has to offer and plans to continue her educational journey for as long as she can.
She referred to herself as a 'forever student,' as she is currently looking for graduate schools. She pays for her own education and does not joke around when it comes to her grades.
She appreciates the experience she gained while undergoing the educational process for her sorority, which taught her techniques to prioritizing and organizing oneself. She said she was organized before, but once learning these valuable skills and managing all her involvement, she took it to the next level.
Through her educational experience at Kean University, she has developed the goal of wanting to better herself and others as well.
"Education is not cheap and it's very valuable and very important, and not everyone can have education," Barbosa said, "you can't take it for granted."
Through her involvement, Barbosa has taken on a variety of leadership roles that have prepared her for being a leader in the future in any profession she may work in.
Barbosa said that her mother is her greatest inspiration.
"My mom went through a lot; she never went to college, she didn't even graduate from high school," Barbosa said, "she got her GED and she went through a lot struggles. Then she had us and decided she wanted better for us."
Her mother is an immigrant from Cuba, making Barbosa a first generation American. Barbosa's Grandmother came to the United States with her husband and eight children, who were all born in Cuba.
"I'm the youngest of four and we all went through college and we're all getting careers because she decided I'm going to have it better for my children," Barbosa said. "I don't know how she did it, but she did and we all went through college and are successful.
Megan Barbosa is the epitome of a well rounded student at Kean University. With her desire to continue improving and educating herself, paired with her passion for bettering others, she is working hard toward achieving her dreams.