Passion is an essential part of doing what you love most. Working without passion is useless as you will never be fulfilled by your work.
However, when doing what you love the most, the desire and urge to do your best will always shine through. And that is the case with Jalen Mason.
A transfer from Kennesaw State University, Mason is a junior studying business administration at FAMU. At 21, Mason has a lot to show for his passion for leading and helping better the world where he can.
As someone who has taken on leadership positions for most of his life, it is no surprise that Mason is one of three vice presidents of the FAMU chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. And as the second VP in command, Mason strives for the betterment of his people.
It starts at the polls, he said.
“I’m very sick to my stomach seeing those voting statistics state by state,” said Mason. “I really just want people to get out and vote, because a lot of these problems that we are having wouldn’t be here if people went out and actually voted.”
Wanting to do more for his community and help increase interaction within voting shows his dedication and aspirations as a leader in NAACP. Also, wanting to show the youth, specifically male youth, that there is more out there than being on the streets and that you can put your energy into enhancing your life.
Apart from social justice, Mason’s favorite part of being involved is the happiness and smiles that going out and being social can bring.
“College can get stressful, it’s a lot,” said Mason. “So, to have people come and smile and just interact and to just have energy, is the biggest thing for me. Being able to see people socialize and build friends, a lot of people don’t have any friends, so those events help, and I just love seeing people happy.”
His goals as VP also show in his interactions with those involved in NAACP. Sydney Aitcheson, a broadcast journalism graduating senior from Titusville and current NAACP president, praises Mason for his efforts and skills to expand the campus organization.
“Mason has not only dedicated his time and precise business skills on great ways to effectively run the chapter and made sure our members are constantly engaged,” Aitcheson said. “He has done an outstanding job of balancing his other organizations, and still finds time to devote his hard work and advocacy toward the chapter.”
As devoted as Mason is to the NAACP, that doesn’t take away from his involvement on campus. As he is an active member in both the FAMU Real Estate Club and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity., all his involvement plays into his social skills and how much of a people person Mason is.
“I am big on ethics and morality,” Mason said. “Networking wise, if I wasn’t talking and networking, I wouldn’t have gotten opportunities. Being wholesome and being genuine has taken me a long way and helped me do greater things.”
Mason has had his fair share of socially quiet days as a transfer student. But that never stopped him from going out and finding things that interested him and making new friends. For example, upon joining FAMU’s real estate club, Mason met some of his closest friends and he attributes that to simply “getting up and going out.”
As someone who loves the culture that FAMU offers, it wasn’t hard for Mason to find his footing in a new area. Making immediate friends with those interested in advancing the Black community, Mason has a community of those who love and support his ideals and the hard work he puts into the NAACP.
Ivan Hopkins says transferring to FAMU is one of the many things he has in common with Mason. Hopkins is a third-year 21-year-old studying business administration as well. With all these similarities, Hopkins and Mason became quick friends very early in their first campus semester.
Hopkins speaks fondly of Mason’s characteristics and their connection, namely, their years as student-athletes being the catalyst for their relationship, spending a lot of time together due to their similar interests in trading, sports, finance and, of course, NAACP, where Hopkins is the economic development chair holder.
“Yeah, me and Jalen are close, it’s easy to be around kind people,” Hopkins said. “I think I just value Jalen for being him, just a real authentic guy, positive and all about the right things. I like how pure J is, never any pressure around my friends, everyone just wants the same goal of joy and kinship, and he exudes that.”
Aitcheson and Hopkins were never short of great things to say about Mason and his contributions to both relationships and campus. Having someone like Mason want the best for his community and work so hard to do so is someone you want to cherish.
Leadership is a quality that never leaves Mason’s side. As someone who uses his passion as a guide for his success and his leadership as an outlet for his goals, Mason radiates the qualities of what it means to work hard.