Alexander Mitchell is studying meteorology at NC State, but his involvement does not end in the classroom. With a goal of helping peers to transcend difficult situations, he’s finding ways to leave a legacy on campus and beyond.
“Even though you may come from a certain group or represent a specific minority, you can accomplish anything,” he boldly stated.
Alexander believes that students can use their passions to overcome fear and some of life’s hardest situations. “If I can do it so can you.” The Ahoskie, North Carolina native says finding motivation to pursue a college education wasn’t always easy in a rural, agriculture-rich community. That’s a challenge that led him to quell many hopes and interest in a different path.
“Growing up, anything that I was passionate about, I immediately ran from because it went against the norm,” said Alex. This went on for sometime, until an unpredictable encounter propelled him toward a more purposeful life.
“One day in school we had a meteorologist come into class and that greatly impacted my love for the sciences,” he said. Time passed, high school came and went, but his passion for the subject did not subside.
NC State accepted the small town kid with life-size dreams, and in return he never forgot where he came from. Alex has dedicated his life to sticking up for the little guy. His first mission as an incoming freshman was to get as involved as possible. Though he says it was intimidating at first, he felt everyone from his hometown was watching and he didn’t want let them down.
“I’m a first-generation student, and being in my position in college means that I’m a role model to those back home,” he said. “I want to leave a legacy here at NC State, but even more so back home. I want to show people that i can be different, but in the right way.”
Fast forward three years and some might call Alexander a renaissance man. The orientation leader, student senator, and high caliber student believes in being multidimensional. “Don’t let your major pigeonhole you,” says Alex. “Student senate isn’t just for poli-sci students. I wanted to be a voice on the behalf of the science department and the little guy.”
Currently, Alex is working on The Weather Challenge, a year-long meteorology project in his department. “Yay! I can predict the weather,” he exclaimed. “But, I want to do more with my college experience than obtain a degree. I want to pursue my passions.”
After college, he plans to get into the logistics side of weather prediction and wants to develop better technology to aid in prediction. One thing he will never be able to predict is how many lives he has impacted, both at NC State and back home.
Every day, NC State students like Alex face fears and conquer uncharted paths. His advice: “be different, and let your passion spur you onward.”