Beginning a New Chapter
Darrien Hunt wasn’t a leader on social issues when he came to FSC — until he established the first NAACP presence on campus.
Darrien Hunt ’21 has a passion for equity, empowerment, and equal opportunity — a commitment that led him to establish a chapter of the NAACP at FSC. But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. When Hunt arrived at FSC, he had no plans other than to attend class.
“Coming into Farmingdale as a freshman, I couldn’t picture myself participating in anything on campus, let alone leading anything,” Hunt says.
But Hunt was involved in the Black community off campus, and FSC’s NAACP chapter was birthed out of his experience as president of the NAACP Jamaica Youth Council in Queens.
“I worked to eliminate race-based discrimination, empower individuals of color, and close the social disparity gaps present today.”
That experience led him to broaden his vision, to give a voice to like-minded members of the campus community.
“My initiative for starting a chapter came from my enjoyment of creating change in my community,” Hunt says. “The work I have done alongside my peers in Jamaica has driven me to look for new ways to create change and opportunity wherever I go. I firmly believe in equity, and ensuring that everyone has access to the same resources and opportunities needed for their progress.”
Hunt is studying Computer Programming and Information Systems. He is a member of Epsilon Pi Tau Honor Society and a Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program student. He has worked with Dr. Angela Jones to develop an Africana Studies minor, and lobbied Greenley Library to stock more literature related to the Black experience. Off campus, he is Criminal Justice Chair for the NYS NAACP Youth and College Division and the 2020 Game Changer Youth and College Service Award winner. Graduating this spring, he is planning to pursue a master’s degree in Computer Science.
“Since establishing the chapter, I feel like I’ve grown tremendously as an individual,” says Hunt. “I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone on numerous occasions, and developed into someone that I wasn’t a year ago. I feel much more like a leader who’s destined to make an immense impact on this world.
“I’m humbled by everything I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, and the opportunity to be where I am. I plan on being a leader wherever I go and displaying leadership in all my endeavors.
“Being recognized as an official chapter of the NAACP is an honor. Receiving recognition from great civil rights activists means that my fellow students and I can be trusted to advocate for the rights of colored people under the prestigious name of the NAACP.”
Hunt was recently presented the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence Special Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and was the only recipient in all of SUNY.
Now that he has achieved his goal of giving FSC students of color a platform to speak their minds, as he moves on he reflects on his achievements and what his successors must do to continue the work. “‘Closed mouths don’t get fed’ is a distinctive philosophy I live by,” says Hunt. “It has helped me develop into an active leader in my community, capable of advocating for change.”