Shane Batcher went from living a sedentary lifestyle to centering his life around community activism.
“I’ve always enjoyed knowing that when I get done with the day, I’ve had an impact on someone,” he said.
Being homeschooled throughout his childhood in the Catskills, Batcher adapted to his mother teaching him around the clock while she ran a pottery business. He would explore his interests such as snowboarding and attending running events alongside his family.
When his mother started working full-time when Batcher was 13 years old, he was often alone during the day with less schooling. Coping with isolation, he devoted most of his time to playing video games on his computer.
“For me, I wasn’t progressing. I was standing still, playing games all days and not doing anything specific with my life,” he said.
Four years of being preoccupied with gaming stopped when his parents’ marriage ended. The divorce inspired Batcher to seek happiness through work. Batcher started working part-time at a childcare program and began pursuing a GED at Schenectady County Community College.
Despite moving forward, living at home with his father following the divorce pushed him backwards with his emotions. He would frequently clash with his father.
“If I would walk away to get myself to calm down or remove myself from the situation, he would come back and follow me so he was the biggest trigger for the longest time,” said Batcher.
Although Batcher said his current relationship with his father is stable, tension with his father at 17 years old pushed him away. After several months living with his father during that time, Batcher moved out.
A new life
“Living on your own at 17, you don’t know what to do. You don’t really know anything about being an adult,” he said.
Moving became frequent for Batcher. Over two years, Batcher lived with a friend, his mother, his father and his ex-girlfriend. Batcher was challenged with budgeting, relationships and moving back in with family.
Moving back in with his mother and stepfather after his relationship ended with his ex-girlfriend, Batcher felt little control over his anger. During that time, over several months his mother helped him gain awareness of his temper. Today, Batcher said, he seldom raises his voice because of his mother’s guidance.
“Even in a normal conversation that would get a little more intense, my voice would go from a normal talking voice to an elevated voice quickly and she would be like ‘Shane, what are you doing?’” said Batcher.
Last semester, Batcher moved from computer science to engineering after taking a summer class at Union College. Transferring his credits to Hudson Valley, Batcher was motivated to explore student life after two years lacking involvement at SCCC.
The now-22-year-old student spends 10 to 14 hours on campus studying, working as a tour guide and being active in clubs across campus.
“What motivates me is that I don’t know what’s next and I don’t know everything, but I like that I know things and I like to know that I could make some kind of a difference,” he said.
Through organizations such as the Engineering Science Club, under the organization’s outreach program, Batcher worked alongside students with similar interests and children. Since the age of 14, Batcher has frequently worked with children through camps and volunteer work.
“I really enjoyed being able to show kids that they can have fun and be able to learn,” he said.
Being friends with Student Senate president Everett McNair through the engineering science program, Batcher was encouraged to join the Student Senate. By February, after less than a month osaid.
After Hudson n the Senate, he considered running for the presidency to make a larger impact.
“That allows me to be a public figure for the students and have the positive impact I want to have,” he Valley, he hopes that all of his efforts on campus will pour into his dream of being an entrepreneur and designing a super computer which would provide internet access for families in developing countries.
“If people like us didn’t have dreams that we’re always reaching for, really big things wouldn’t really happen,” said Batcher.