Alumni spotlight: Former ASI president encourages students to make best of college years

Alumni spotlight: Former ASI president encourages students to make best of college years

Shanice Davis, Features Editor

This past May, former Associated Students, Inc. CEO/President Haley Perko, said her final goodbyes to CSUSM and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, leaving behind four years of life changing experiences.

During her time at CSUSM, she took full advantage of what the university had to offer her from freshman year up until her senior year.

“I started out my freshman year in a learning community through my GEL class called the Global Learning Community. In this class we had the opportunity to be in a class with students from all over the world.”

With exposure to this class and people she encountered, Perko was inspired to be an active participant in the CSUSM community.

During her sophomore and junior year, Perko was a Resident Advisor at the UVA and a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority.

Perko also became actively involved in ASI.

“One of the most memorable experiences I had while at CSUSM was my time with ASI. I started out as a college rep, then I was chair of the board and finally ended my last year as the ASI president.”

Since graduation, Perko said she is in the adjustment mode of life.

“I am still getting used to it and I don’t think it actually hit me until I saw everyone at Cal State go back to school this past week.”

However, Perko does see returning to school as a possibility in the future, as this topic is a constant battle for her.

“This is currently my big debate. I am looking into Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at University of Texas at Austin, however we will see what happens.”

But, while everyone else is going back to school, Perko has since moved to Austin, Texas and is working.

“I am working with a non-profit called College Forward, working with underserved student populations in high school and then following them into college.”

Although Perko has left CSUSM and has begun a new chapter in her life, she says that her time at the university greatly impacted her life today.

“My involvement at CSUSM highly influenced my choice to work for a non-profit and in higher education. I would not have the confidence or knowledge I have today without a college education, and I want to make sure that we make this available to everyone who wants the same.”

Aside from being an active role model in her student’s lives, Perko says a quotation that she lives by is quite cliche, but quintessential to her life, “Everything happens for a reason.”

As far as advice for all students at CSUSM, Perko said everyone should enjoy their college years and get involved.

“Build relationships with your peers, advisors, professors and mentors, they are all there to help you and see you succeed; so take advantage of it and make lifelong friendships while doing it!”