[Listening Post] How JMU Students Portray “Be the Change”

Be the Change.” Here at JMU, we hear that phrase almost daily, but what does it really mean? JMU students, on and off campus, have been changing the world every day just by being inspiring, creative, and innovative.

 JMU alum, Gilbert Welsford Jr., taught a Motivational Entrepreneurship class through JMU Teach, which is an experimental program that allows students to create and facilitate their own classes. This class paved Welsford’s way into being involved in two current ventures, Sparks Entertainment and ValveMan, in which he has partnered with his friends and family.

“That’s not why I live on this earth-for business. Not because I want a lot of money- well, so I can earn a lot of money to give it away, change peoples’ lives,” Welsford said.

“Be the Change” not only symbolizes changing others’ lives, but being our own role models. Levar Stoney, a 2004 JMU political science graduate, had been chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party for the 2008 election. Stoney defused any negative comments he received against the Democractic party with saying that there is a certain time and place, right and wrong tone, for these discussions. He was courteous and sensitive when others may not have been.

I believe that every student at JMU embodies “Be the Change” in one way or another. We are each finding our path to changing the world here at JMU, and the Be the Change blog is a great way to showcase the work of our students. Being surrounded by so many interesting and inspiring people reiterates JMU’s strong sense of community. What do you think empowers JMU students to “Be the Change”?