By Chianna Schoenthaler
Life presents a variety of different obstacles that many have to overcome in order to be who they are today. Student body president Jacob “Jake” Harmon is a stellar example of what it takes to lead people and how anyone can overcome any obstacle.
Harmon was elected in the spring of 2017 to be the next student body president following Antonio Huerta. Harmon ran uncontested in the election with his vice president Daniella Trujillo and their RISE campaign. The mission behind the RISE campaign is to help with the rekindling of inspiration, spirt and empowerment for the student body.
“As I left office, there was no doubt in my mind that he would do great things, empower those he is leading, and make a difference at CSU-Pueblo,” Huerta said. “ASG is filled with amazing leaders, every individual who ran for office is capable of being the next ASG President. The fact that they chose to run with Jake as their President shows just how great of a leader he is,” said the former student body president, who graduated in May with a master’s in business administration and bachelor’s in business.
As a senior at the university, Harmon is currently pursuing a degree in English with a minor in psychology. Harmon’s favorite book is The Giver by Lois Lowry.
Harmon comes from a very strong military background with both of his parents being in the United States Army and his older brother who is in the United States Navy. His mother has a degree in business, while his father has a degree in criminal justice and psychology.
His older brother is a Navy SEAL and inspires Harmon because of his resilience and inability to quit. “As a Navy SEAL, I feel that my brother has gone through some of the most rigorous training of any of the military branches,” Harmon said.
On July 8, he completed his Marine Corps Officer Training Program and officially is a commissioned officer for the United States Marine Corps upon graduation from CSU-Pueblo in December 2018. As a Marine, Harmon has been trained to improvise, adapt and overcome any obstacle no matter the situation he is presented with.
Outside of being a commissioned officer in the Marine Corp, Harmon intends to go to law school to become a judge advocate general (JAG) lawyer.
When looking into running for the student body president position, he made many observations in how Associated Student Government (ASG) worked.
“It is not easy leading a group of your peers, collaborating with other organizations/departments, working with faculty, staff and administration, or representing your peers at a state and national level. Although it may not be easy, I know ASG President Jake Harmon can do the job and do it well,” said Huerta.
As Harmon looked into it further, he decided he wanted to better the operations of ASG and that he was ready for a leadership position.
Harmon wants to help students develop potential leadership skills or help strengthen their current leadership skills throughout his term.
“If I could describe my friend Jake in three words, I would say; thoughtful, self-disciplined and organized,” Huerta said. “As ASG President Harmon, I would say; rational, realistic and tough.”
Harmon intends to help people get the most out of their college education at CSU-Pueblo. Harmon is vigorously working to help surrounding areas of campus and even communities outside of Colorado.
“Jake is very professional, and holds himself to high standards. He has ambition and energy that many thrive for, and is able to rally people together for a cause with ease,” said Jason Falsetto a junior Civil Engineering Technology major and associate chief justice of ASG.
Hurricane Harvey hit Houston the last full week of August. When the category four hurricane hit the coast of Texas it caused an extreme amount of devastation to the community.
He decided to take matters into his own hands and start fundraising with ASG to help send as much relief as possible to those effected by Harvey.
“Jake is one of the most passionate kind-hearted people I have had the pleasure in meeting. It is very nice to see him immerse himself in what he does. Recently with Hurricane Harvey it’s been amazing to see him speak with such compassion and emotion,” said Brandon Bayer, a junior in biology with an emphasis in pre-medicine and a senator for ASG.
Harmon is actively seeking help from donors. According to Harmon’s Facebook page, on Aug. 30, ASG reached $1,000 in donations for the victims affected by the hurricane. With ASG’s backing, he helped arrange a fundraiser at the football home opener against the Colorado School of Mines.
Joe Folda, CSU-Pueblo’s athletic director, and John Wristen, head coach of Pack football, joined and encouraged the efforts. At the game ASG members collected donations, food items, toiletry items and clothing items at the entrance gates.
“After discussions of how he wants to collaborate with others, the projects he wants to pursue, and his vision for the future of CSU-Pueblo, I know he is in the right position and I have faith in his ability to lead the Associated Students’ Government, campus departments and CSU-Pueblo students in achieving their goals and ambitions,” Huerta said.
Harmon gave a quote from Aristotle that he tries to live and lead by, “You are what you repeatedly do.”