Joshua Reyes Forges His Own Path Through Involvement and Connecting Others
For Joshua Reyes, ’23 Advertising, the inclination to be involved in his community has always come naturally.
During high school, he was the first one to hit the ground running when it came to drawing attention to various fundraisers and events.
“I’d be the one to take the initiative because I feel like getting the word out there is so important,” says Reyes. “And I like connecting people to other people, being that bridge of communication.”
This passion for being involved and connecting people was something that fully awakened in Reyes when he started attending San José State University in 2019.
Sonja Daniels, associate vice president for campus life, has witnessed the ways in which Reyes has supported students and advocated for their needs on campus.
“I’ve seen him grow. I’ve seen him develop strong leadership skills and the ability to connect with faculty, staff and administrators,” says Daniels.
Forging his own path
Reyes started his freshman year majoring in nutritional food science. But after a few weeks of attending classes, he realized this was not the path for him. During the second semester of his freshman year, he reached out to his resident advisor and asked her what he should do. She referred him to the Career Center.
Reyes went to a Career Path appointment with one of the counselors at the center, and from that one meeting, everything became clear to him. He switched his major to advertising on the marketing track and didn’t look back. His new area of study offered him an outlet to fully bring his passion and strengths into focus.
But switching majors wasn’t the only shift that occurred during Reyes’ second semester of freshman year. In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt.
Like many others, Reyes assumed it would just be a quick three-week shutdown of the campus, and that things would go back to normal in no time. But weeks went by. And when it was announced that his sophomore year would be completely virtual, Reyes contemplated taking some time off.
However, his parents convinced him to stick with it and graduate on time.
“I wasn’t vibing with the online classes, but my parents encouraged me to keep going,” says Reyes.
He made sure to do what he could to remain heavily involved with the university and other students virtually. He tried to form study classes via Zoom, and joined different organizations, like the SJSU Marketing Association and Akbayan.
In fall 2021, during his junior year, everyone was back on campus.
“We still had to wear masks and social distance, and so there were limited personal interactions. But I was so happy to be back,” Reyes says with a grin.
Getting involved at SJSU
For Reyes, SJSU is a true “home away from home.” He’s been a resident advisor for University Housing Services for the past two years.
One of his advisors, Joquel Vasquez from University Housing Services, has been amazed to watch Reyes develop over time.
“Joshua has demonstrated a commitment to contributing to a positive experience for diverse populations of the campus community,” says Vasquez. “His eagerness to learn, grow and positively contribute has made it a pleasure to work with him.”
Reyes previously served as a student ambassador for student outreach and recruitment, working with pre-admission counselors and giving tours to prospective students, as well as a board director for the Student Union, Inc., where he was involved in reviewing the student union budget, planning events and advocating for students’ needs.
“The Student Union was fortunate to have Joshua serve on the Board of Directors. He continually brought his foresight and commitment to excellence to the table,” says Kelly Goldsmith who works as an executive assistant for the Student Union, Inc.
Reyes belongs to Pi Kappa Phi and also takes great pride in being part of an honor society called Order of Omega, which recognizes the top five percent of Greek leaders at SJSU. All those who are part of the program need to have demonstrated academic excellence and be deeply involved on and off campus. Being a part of this select pool of students, Reyes feels, is one of his biggest achievements.
After graduation, Reyes plans to head back to his hometown of San Diego to take a few months off before he begins looking for work.
“Before I leave, I just wanted to send a message to all SJSU students: Be involved. Put yourself out there. Join a club, apply to be an RA, apply to be a student ambassador,” he says. “If you haven’t found that community, or that home away from home that you’ve been looking for, just get involved and everything will work itself out. Good luck and cherish every moment. Spartan up!”
Learn more about Student Outreach and Recruitment.
Learn more about University Housing Services.
Learn more about Pi Kappa Phi.
Learn more about Order of Omega.