You Can Be Inclusive - Ryan Strobel ('22)
“You Can B Inclusive” – Ryan Strobel (’22, Computer Information Systems)
Reflecting on Ryan’s high school experiences, one of his involvements that truly impacted his experience was his participation in Best Buddies. Best Buddies is an international American nonprofit 501 organization. It consists of volunteers that create opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Not only did this club leave an impact on him but he left a great influence on the organization as well. In 2016 his Best Buddies club in high school was named Charter of the Year. He then went on to make a video of Best Buddies for Massachusetts and with its success it led into an international video for the greater Best Buddies community. While this extracurricular only took up a few hours every day after school, it will forever shape his dedication to put inclusion as a top priority in his approach for life.
The key is to get everyone involved, all hands in. If you can learn from one, you can learn from all. At the end of the day this is your team to lean on and a community to build upon.
Fast forward to Bentley University and Ryan now continues to live a Best Buddies legacy here in our community. Ryan says that this choice was driven by his commitment to make sure that everybody has a place to call home and feel included. Since this decision he has grown with this club from an associate member all the way to President. Ryan knew that Best Buddies has unmatched potential to create a better world. Just one step at a time, Ryan set forth his presidency with big goals. His top priorities included getting Bentley's chapter nationally recognized and increasing our relations with the Waltham community. Ryan says “The most rewarding parts are the moments where students and Best Buddies participants feel the happiest and laugh the hardest. There are no better days than the ones when everyone is included, and everyone feels like they have a piece of home in that organization.”
A sense of empowerment for him and others is exactly what motivates him. With that in mind, Ryan decided to apply to be an Orientation Leader so that he could empower the next wave of Bentley students. This was his chance to be a role model and mentor to others who would soon fill the big shoes of many at Bentley. He reminds us that “Sometimes you need to remember that you are able to influence others just by accepting them and including them into the conversation. As an OL I was the first person to accept and include these new freshmen onto campus. It was an experience I will truly never forget.” His devotion to lead with others at the heart of his purpose is a testament to not only Ryan’s character but the culture fostered on Bentley’s campus.
“You can’t create change by following the same path. Write your own road map and paint your own journey along the way. Only then will you see that what drives you, shapes you.”
After college Ryan is looking forward to blending his education and passion for technology with his need to interact with people. Ryan is fascinated by the breadth and evolution of technology as its innovation is a catalyst to future positive societal difference. Paired with that, Ryan’s innate gravitation to include others drives his motivation. He found the perfect intersection of the two with user experience – a way to leverage innovation to better a human’s interaction with technology. Through this avenue, he hopes to build a legacy beyond Bentley and be at the forefront of bettering the world we live in today.