Senior George Austin ‘19, from Orange New Jersey, created his own path when he made the decision to enroll at Kean University. Determined to attend college after high school, he had to make a few sacrifices along the way. Now, just a few months away from graduation, it’s safe to say those sacrifices were well worth it.

Attending college has always been at the forefront of George’s mind, especially, when both of his parents worked for the Orange School District. At an early age, George decided to focus on his education instead of leisure time with friends. Seeing his potential and challenged by his teachers, George excelled in his high school academics. He even shined in his athletics, securing him a recruitment opportunity to play basketball for another university. An offer he later declined, in order to stay at home and be closer to his mother while his father worked in Haiti.

“The other universities were too expensive and too far. I needed to be closer and Kean was close,” says George. During his freshman year, George’s transition was a bit more difficult than expected as a commuter student. Adamant to change his surroundings and improve his focus, George was able to move on campus during the spring semester of his sophomore year; increasing his GPA to a 3.5.

A recipient of two Foundation scholarships, George is now one of a few of his friends that is currently still in college. He has witnessed his mother struggle financially but has also seen his father graduate with his master’s degree, also from Kean. These experiences are what drive George to succeed, saying “It gives [him] more of a purpose”.

Currently, George is one of the team managers for Kean’s men’s basketball team. He will graduate this spring with a BA in Business Management. He hopes to become an Athletic Director but will continue his education post-graduation by pursuing his MBA.  “I knew if I went to college, it would be my greatest chance of becoming successful. One day, I’d like to go back to Orange and give back to my community.” – George Austin