When Samual Shaji sets his heart on something, he does everything it takes to accomplish it. In fact, that perseverance is exactly what brought him to Cape Breton University. Samual wanted the opportunity to learn more about Canadian culture while pursuing his university degree and CBU caught his attention; that was the easy part. Convincing his family to let him explore another country straight out of high school was another story. “I am from Kanjoor, a small village in the province of Kerala, India,” says Samual. “I am the first in my family to go abroad, so convincing them wasn’t easy. But it was worth it.” Now in his second year of the Bachelor of Engineering Technology program at CBU, Samual says he couldn’t be happier to be here at CBU. Samual became involved in the Students’ Union because of his innate desire to help others. In his role as Multicultural Hub Coordinator he has had the opportunity to meet students from all over the world and help them adjust to campus life. “When someone needs help and support and you’re able to be there for them, the satisfaction you feel is incredible,” says Samual. His advice to students at CBU is to take advantage of the various opportunities offered to students and to get involved on campus, saying it can make a huge difference in your life. In his first year, Samual took part in CBU’s Research Month, where he, along with his research partner, presented their business plan for Brixell Pvt. Ltd. a green tech company. The company, which converts plastic waste into concrete building materials, was brought to life at CBU and is currently running a successful operating plant in India. Samual has plans of bringing the company to Cape Breton to further the Island’s sustainability goals. “The learning opportunities that are available to you at CBU will guide you to success in your future,” says Samual. “You should always be open to new experiences and challenges.” This year, in an effort to push himself to new challenges, Samual decided to run for the role of Students’ Union Executive Vice President. After a successful campaign season, Samual secured more than 55 per cent of the total votes, demonstrating the confidence CBU’s student body places in him. “When I heard the results I fell into tears,” says Samual. “The faith and love that the students have shown me will make me very focused in my role. I am ready to give them my best.” As Executive Vice President, Samual will be focusing on the academic success of the students. He plans to align his goals with the University’s Strategic Plan, ensuring that CBU students have an enriched learning experience during their time in university. Samual says he knows it won’t be an easy job, but that he’s ready to face anything that comes his way. “For the betterment of our students, I am ready to turn challenges into opportunities,” says Samual.