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Courting the future

A conversation with SJC Brooklyn Class of 2015 valedictorian David Louison

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What’s your major and minor?

Major: Criminal Justice; Minor: Sociology

Describe your experience at SJC:

I graduated from a small high school in Brooklyn (St. Edmund Preparatory) that fostered and encouraged the value of being a family. When looking for colleges, I found that SJC fostered a similar atmosphere, and that was really special to me. My experience so far has been positively overwhelming and it has truly been a blessing to be a part of this family.

What’s your plan after graduation?

I’ve wanted to be an attorney for as long as I can remember. When I graduate, I plan on working in the legal field to gain valuable experience before I head back into the classroom for law school. Following law school, I hope to achieve my goal of being an attorney.

Were you involved in any clubs or organizations at SJC?

I’ve played on the men’s basketball team all four years at SJC. The program has made significant strides over the past few years and I’m so excited to have been a part of it. I am also a member of the Honors Program, SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee), Orientation Team, FYE Peer Mentor Program, and the SJC Spirit Publishing Company (photographer).

What was your dream job as a kid?

My dream job as a kid is actually my dream job now: to be an attorney. For the last three years, I’ve worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a student trainee and I was able to see firsthand what my vision entailed. Graduating from SJC puts me one step closer to my dream.

Favorite book?

I don’t have one favorite book in particular, but one of my favorite authors to read is Malcolm Gladwell.

Favorite quote?

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Seuss

Who has been your biggest influence?

My grandmother grew up poor in Puerto Rico and when she came to the United States, she overcame so much adversity to get to where she is now. She set the foundation for any and all success that I’ve had thus far in my life.

What do you do in your spare time?

I love digital photography, so I try to shoot as much as I possibly can. There’s nothing better than capturing a beautiful moment in time and having that memory forever. You can also find me with my nose in a book because I love reading as well.

If you had to give one reason for a student to choose SJC, what would it be?

Family. When I first came to St. Joseph’s, I didn’t plan on having the type of college career that I had. The reason why I had the positive experience that I did is because the family embraced me and brought the best out of me. I’ve seen so many people come out of their comfort zones and are now better versions of themselves than when they first came to the school.

What do you hope to get our of your time at SJC?

My time at SJC is coming to an end, so can only I hope to maintain long last friendships with students and professors alike. There are so many great people at SJC and I hope that bond and that sense of community never wavers 10, 20 or 30 years from now.

What have you learned about yourself during your time at SJC?

I took a lot of sociology classes, so I ended up learning a lot about the poor and less fortunate. Through that, I learned that there’s a burning desire within me to help those people to somehow make a difference in their lives.

What is the best advice someone has ever given you?

All the advice I’ve been given has been far too valuable for me to designate one as, “the best.” I appreciate all those who’ve helped and supported me along the way.

Aside from content material, what is the best lesson a professor taught you in class?

One of my professors, Professor J. Bickerstaff, instilled in me an academic confidence and thirst for greatness that I cannot thank her enough for. She made me believe in my abilities and helped me tap into a potential that I know I’ve only scratched the surface of. Because of her, I approached college with a totally new attitude and I’m extremely grateful for that.

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