Tony Key's future is in helping others.
The future speech pathologist isn't waiting to get started on it. Tony is an ambassador for the College of Health Professions, where he works with incoming freshmen and helps ease their minds and makes them feel comfortable on campus. He is also the president of the Mental Health Alliance, a student group on campus.
"I really like making an impact on incoming students," he said. "Everyone remembers what it's like to be a freshman. I like being a grounding force that tells them what college is like."
Tony chose to live in the Health Professions Residential College in Emmons Hall to not only serve as a mentor to other students pursuing careers in health, but to be able to network and learn from them as well.
It was in the residential college where he met several people he's still friends with today, including his roommates.
Like many new college students, Tony was hesitant to jump right in and instead was trying to just get the lay of the land first.
"I was apprehensive when I got here. I was actively listening, not actively participating," he said.
He realized quickly that being engaged was key to his success. He credits a lot of that to CHP Student Services Assistant Director Sharon Livernois, who helped him make a smooth transition to college.
"She has been nothing but a guiding light the past three years," Tony said. "She's someone I can go to with my concerns, and she gives me positive feedback."
Now, he is talking about his experiences with other students and helping guide new students on a path to success. While his passion is helping others, these experiences are preparing him for his career.
"I've learned a lot about interpersonal communication," he said. "I've learned how to talk to people, and I've gotten better at it. I'm figuring out what works, what doesn't."
Tony's advice to new students? Talk to people.
"Make yourself comfortable with being uncomfortable," he said. "Talk to your professors, make new friends. You'll have more opportunities if you get involved."