Justin J. Pequeno, A12 of Hilo, HI

BS, Psychology, American Studies, 2012

MA, Politics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 2013

Current Occupation: Regional Project Manager, Kamehameha Schools 

Previous Occupations: Analyst, Kamehameha Schools; Program Manager/AmeriCorps VISTA Supervisor, Honolulu Community Action Program

Tufts-affiliated Activities: Alumnus: Co-Leader, Tufts Alumni Hawaii regional chapter; Interviewer, Tufts Alumni Admissions Program/Tufts Admissions Network. Undergraduate: Latino Peer Leader, Latino Center; Executive Board Member, Pan African Alliance; Intern and Office Assistant, Office of Undergraduate Admissions; Barista, The Rez Café; Intramural sports.

Other Professional / Volunteer Affiliations and Activities: Commissioner for Environmental Management, County of Hawaii, 2018-present; scholarship committee member, RGV Community Foundation, 2018-present; facilitator, Islander Scholars Academy, 2018-present; member, Rotary Club of South Hilo, 2017-present; committee member, Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, 2016-present; volunteer judge, We the People state competition, 2014-present; board member, Honolulu Community Action Program, 2015-2016; scholarship committee member, TEDxHonolulu, 2015

Candidate Statement: At Tufts, I was very fortunate to have found friends in my classmates, professors, and administrators that supported me in becoming the first in my family to graduate from college. Though my experience at Tufts was academically and socially challenging, the American Studies program gave me a sense of community and a strong foundation to enter the world as an active citizen. This value of active citizenship drew me to attend Tufts and has been a cornerstone of my life post-graduation.

As a co-leader of the alumni chapter in Hawaii, I’ve organized service events for stream restoration to reduce sediment infiltration at Kaneohe Bay and field maintenance at a rural organic farm that supports education and training for Native Hawaiian youth. Through the Tufts Alumni Council I will commit to serving the alumni community in whatever capacity is needed, but I am particularly interested in two areas:

Expanding service opportunities: Many if not all our alumni and students are actively giving their time, resources, and expertise to their communities across the world every day. I believe we can revitalize the annual Jumbo service month and produce a wave of impact by developing an annual theme for all alumni groups to follow. For example, 2020’s theme could be Civic Engagement with efforts focused on topics like increasing voter registration and turnout.

Engaging alumni in small cities and rural areas: Jumbos in smaller cities and rural areas often do not have the same relationship with Tufts as our alumni in (US) major cities. We can be purposeful in encouraging opportunities to bolster or initiate alumni chapters in these areas by partnering with admissions and academic departments/programs.

Justin J. Pequeno, A12