Snapshot: Mark Bacolod
Years at AACC: 3
Daily schedule: attends classes; oversees student association goals, staff and representatives
Quotable quote: “I think the greatest benefit of being a leader is seeing the people under leadership grow. Our job as leaders is to make leaders and I pray that my leadership will make other leaders.”
Hails from: Jacksonville, N.C.
Since his move to Maryland three years ago, Student Association President Mark Bacolod has struggled with decisions most twentysomethings face: what school to go to, what to study and what not to study, spirituality, relationships and embracing where he is in life. After three years, he doesn’t have all the answers but what he does have is faith, direction and quite a bit of leadership he picked up along the way.
A transplant from North Carolina, Mark has served as student association president for one year, serving as a mediator between the students and the faculty administration. His adjustment to his new home was at times rough and he faced many challenges within his church, faith and family. The road to his presidency began after he enrolled at Anne Arundel Community College and was serving as student association vice-president as a sophomore. Assistant Director of Student Activities Chris Storck approached Mark about fulfilling the presidential role.
“She said she saw a lot of growth in me because I had been involved in student leadership,” he says. “She put the position of student association president on the plate for me and told me to think about it. As election time came around, I was deciding if I wanted to transfer or stay one year longer. I assessed my leadership capabilities and the growth I needed, took a look at the student association for next year and saw how filling this role could really make a difference to the students.”
Needless to say, Mark decided to add one more year at the community college to his transcript and was elected president.
“It’s really good to have this position because faculty administration want to help students and they need a representative who can properly voice what the administration and faculty are saying and what the students want to hear,” he says.
In the midst of all of his responsibilities—increasing student awareness, representing the students, encouraging involvement and overseeing various organizations—it’s evident that Mark’s desires lie in putting students first. “Students aren’t going to remember the room number they went to or the college text book they had to buy,” he says, “but they’ll remember a living college that really cared for them and took time to walk them to a building they couldn’t find or put in 12 hours to change the pool hours because they couldn’t fit their work schedule around that time frame.”