Folasade Sabitu / The Paisano

This is Hunter Kim. He is a junior and a computer engineering major. His role as Mr. UTSA 2018 has given him the platform to help others succeed. This is his story.

“So I actually applied to two different other schools, UT and A&M, firstly because those are the big schools, and also because I applied super late: three days before their deadline. I got in with automatic admission, but the major I wanted in engineering filled up. They were like, ‘Oh, you can take Chinese Studies,’ and I was like ‘No, I’d rather not do that.’ So I went looking again, and I remembered, back in sophomore year of high school, my sister who was two years older than me. She was a senior. She was looking at different colleges and going on campus tours. One time I went with her to UTSA and we just went on a tour. We went through the whole campus: the classrooms, the Sombrilla, housing, all of that. Everything that they said in every part of the campus I just fell in love with. I don’t know why I didn’t initially apply here anyways, because I did fall in love with campus, but I knew that apart from those other bigger schools, this [UTSA] was going to be my number one choice. That was because of the way I felt when I got on campus, the people I met, the smiles I saw, and that’s exactly how my experience has been at UTSA. So far it’s been so welcoming, and everyone has just been so happy, nice and very inclusive. The diversity on campus is obviously amazing. That’s how I came to UTSA, and it has been great ever since.

One of the things that has made me who I am today is probably my older sister. In high school, she was my ride home for freshman year. She had a car and I didn’t. Typically, I would stay after school with her just because I had to, and she was involved in almost every organization at our high school. She was in organizations like National Honor Society, Habitat for Humanity, and a lot of service-oriented clubs. So, right from the start of high school, I got into service projects, and some of these clubs didn’t even allow you to get in as a freshman. They would wait until you were a sophomore to accept you, but that didn’t stop me. I was still doing their projects with them, just not as an official member. So, when it came around to being a sophomore, everyone already knew me, and that really propelled me into a service lifestyle and loving to give back to my community, wherever that community is.

That is what led me to do UTSA ambassadors on campus here, and then becoming an RA. I like being that service for the residents to come and talk to as a mentor. That’s been my mindset.

If I can make someone else’s day happy or if I can make someone smile, that’s what I do it for. I do it for the advancement of those who can’t speak up for themselves or have the platform to do so.

I’d like to be that voice for the people who don’t have the huge platform that I’ve gotten as Mr. UTSA. I have met a lot of higher executives at our university. I have become a President Inclusive Excellent Scholar and being on that board of students who can create ideas and show how the university can become more inclusive. Yes we are diverse, but are we catering to that diversity or are we just putting it as our status? Are we actually implementing programs and activities for everyone to come together and showcase that?

I’ve always been super outgoing, and I love making people laugh. I was in Improv in High School, so being in front of a crowd of people is something I’m used to. When I first came to UTSA, it was Jacorey who was Mr. UTSA, and he was just so lively and outgoing. He was an orientation leader, so I got to see him a lot. His presence and ability to light up a room was very inspiring. For me right then I was like, ‘Wow, I really want to be Mr. UTSA.’ But being an engineering major definitely put up some walls and was a hindrance. We have a lot of work that comes with our major. It was sophomore year that I thought ‘okay I really want to do this but with my workload, am I going to be able to do it?’ Especially during my junior year, because that’s when all of your courses are pretty much at their highest difficulty. So it was the end of my sophomore year that I was like, ‘okay, I’m not going to do it’. I’m not going to run because this is going to be way too much. Then three days before the deadline, this past semester I was like, ‘okay, just kidding.’ I have to apply because, at the end of the day, I had been wanting to do this for so long. Even if I hadn’t gotten Mr. UTSA, I would have regretted not applying. When I did the entire process, did the presentation, and I got crowned, it was a very real and a lot of fun, and just to prove to myself that I was able to do all of this while also maintaining all of my coursework.”

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