Student shows dedication, focus

The contest for “The Most Influential Male Student” ended Friday in The Famuan office as the staff tallied the votes.

After much deliberation, the staff selected Torey Alston, 20, a junior business administration student from Fort Lauderdale, as the paper’s “Most Influential Male Student” on the campus of Florida A&M University.

Alston was selected based on the content of his nomination forms, the extent of his on-campus and off-campus involvement and his initiatives to improve student life on-campus.

Although many supporters swarmed the newsroom with nominations for Alston, he said he was not aware of the contest for a couple of days.

In an interview, he opened with “Yes, I consider myself to have a positive influence.”

Alston later quoted Woodrow Wilson with, “A man is not as big as his belief in himself; he is as big as the number of persons who believe in him.” He said he thinks he was nominated because of his civic and community involvement.

“Black men are a rarity,” Alston said.

When asked what separates him from other men on the campus, Alston answered, “I am God-fearing, focused, long termed, and I have an excellent prospective.”

Alston later replied there are many dynamic men on the campus of FAMU, and he felt good about receiving the recognition.

One of his supporters agreed.

“I feel it’s well deserved,” said Imani Jackson, chairwoman of the Senate Auditing Committee, in which Alston is a committee member. Jackson, 19, is a junior business administration student from Chicago.

Alston is involved in a host of extra-curricular activities and organizations. For example, he is a junior class senator, president of the Student National Alumni Association, a member of the NAACP Tallahassee Branch, a board member for the Florida Youth Action Council, and a member of the Alpha Xi chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. where he currently serves as the “Keeper of Records.”

Alston said he has a weed-and-seed philosophy. “Always focus on the positive to weed out the negative,” Alston said.

Alston said he would apply this philosophy to motivating students interested in attending FAMU who may be discouraged by the negative remarks that are expressed by students. He said he would change their minds about the University by basically focusing on the more positive aspects.

He noted the world-renowned Marching “100,” the fact that the University graduates the most black teachers and Doctorate of Pharmacy students, it was 1998’s Time/The Princeton Review’s College of the Year, and the Greek life on campus.

Jo’Vion Greer, 20, a business and accounting student from Saginaw, Mich., said Alston is personable, a leader, a motivator, passionate about the well-being of FAMU, focused and driven.

“The focus is there, and he has the drive to accomplish the goal,” Greer said.

Greer said he knew Alston because he was his freshman class president, and they currently serve in SGA together.

According to a press release from Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service wrote about the many service programs Alston is involved in.

“With Torey’s previous experiences of serving the community and his commitment to volunteerism, he is sure to be an asset to the Council,” said Jackie Lautenberger, Youth Commissioner for Volunteer Florida.

Alston said he would like to thank all of the students nominating him and believing his path to a better America.

Contact Anthony S. Ray Jr. at