Student Government president and Sigma Phi Epsilon member spent his winter break volunteering at a homeless shelter
Instead of enjoying a winter break of rest and leisure, Wright State Student Government President Joseph Gibbons spent his time volunteering at a homeless shelter in Dayton.
Gibbons said that he volunteered because he has a passion for community service, and because he too has been in that position.
“I was homeless,” Gibbons said. “I remember those times, and I try to take that experience and bring it to the homeless shelter.”
At age 18, Gibbons was homeless in Washington D.C for two years before joining the Navy, where he was honorably discharged at age 23. After coming to Dayton to help his sister with her children after her husband was deployed, Gibbons began his academic career at Wright State in the fall of 2010.
Gibbons is in the middle of his first year as student government president, and is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon. Gibbons said that despite the setbacks that student government has had, he feels his presidency is running smoothly.
“Surprisingly, it’s going well,” Gibbons said. “We’ve become a cohesive group that can really learn to trust each other to do our jobs, and to hold each other accountable.”
In addition to his work at St. Vincent DePaul, Gibbons said that his involvement at Wright State has given him the ability to partake in more community involvement.
“I’m very hooked up around the community because of the positions that I hold,” Gibbons said. “I’ve tried to create a culture in most of the organizations I’ve joined of giving back.”
During his time volunteering over winter break, Gibbons said that he convinced some those living at the shelter to apply to Wright State.
“I got four people to apply for Wright State University,” Gibbons said. “To come and get their education and buckle down and try to improve their future.”
Gibbons also said that anyone could encounter a bad situation, and that people should not try to distance themselves from those in need.
“We can all end up there, it’s very easy,” Gibbons said. “It takes one more downturn in the economy, it takes one mistake, it really doesn’t take a whole lot for anyone to end up in that position.”