By overcoming personal difficulties, Student Senate vice president Bryce Kirk finds his biggest inspiration through his family. “Through tough times, they have never let adversity get them down,” he said. “I try to base myself everyday off that idea,” said Kirk.
Kirk is a sophomore at Hudson Valley majoring in business. He is also the vice president of the student body, secretary of the Entrepreneurs Club, director of research in the Investment Club and is part of the Faculty Student Association Board of Directors. Kirk also engages in athletics with Hudson Valley’s bowling team.
“I didn’t know what I really wanted to do after high school,” said Kirk. “My mom who came to Hudson Valley talked highly of it, so that’s why I picked this school,” he said.
After learning about the student government on campus, Kirk decided to join the Student Senate in the middle of his second semester. When the opportunity for an executive board position opened up, he ran for Student Senate vice president and won.
Kirk plays a broad role on campus as vice president. The majority of his role comes in the organization of events on campus. “I run the programming meetings which plans all the events that go on the campus for students,” said Kirk.
Throughout his time at Hudson Valley, Kirk’s favorite part of college life is the people he has met. “I made more connections in the last year than I have in my entire life,” said Kirk. He hopes that all students can be active on campus and take advantage of what the college offers.
He believes that some people don’t fully embrace what they want to do. “My grandmother just passed a few weeks ago and she was one of those people who had a regret of not doing what she wanted to do. I want to be one of those people who wants to say, ‘I want to try this today, and this is what my heart is telling me what to do’,” said Kirk.
Before Kirk arrived at Hudson Valley, his family went through tough times. “My dad was always the person that followed his heart,” said Kirk.
His father, Steven, got a degree in planning from the University at Buffalo and worked for the city of Utica for a while, until he decided he wanted to start his own business. “He started his own planning business which he ran for about 25 years.” According to Kirk, his father got put out of business by being blackballed by the state.
The shift from upper middle class to almost poverty became difficult for Kirk and his family. “I was a junior in high school and I didn’t really know what to do in that situation,” said Kirk. “Seeing something like that happen to someone you love is really hard, so I had a hard time deciding where I wanted to go next.”
Kirk’s parents had to sell their 4,000 square-foot house and move into a smaller apartment. “[My dad] never showed he was affected by it,” said Kirk. “That really stuck with me because it shows how much his attitude towards life was always that it’s going to get better.”
Kirk is continuously looking into his future after Hudson Valley. He is looking to attend Cornell or the University of North Carolina and major in either engineering or finance. “When choosing a major, I had a childhood dream of becoming an astronaut,” said Kirk. “Now I’m deciding whether I want to go to school for aerospace engineering or finance,” he said.
Kirk thanks his mother and father for where he is today, and the kind of person that he has become. Despite the low points and family struggles, Kirk’s positive attitude and strong heart have never let anything get in his way.