Undergraduate profile: Seeking an engaged community
When Jonathan Bunt was deciding on colleges to attend, he didn’t look first at academic programs, he looked at quality of life.
“I Googled college lifestyle, and Rice came up really high,” the freshman said. “It looked like here, people help each other, and they’re interested in succeeding together. Once I visited, I knew it was the place I wanted to be.”
He’s leaning toward majoring in bioengineering, which seems a natural fit for him, after his accomplishments in high school. He’s a certified phlebotomist, and he and some friends at Austin’s Westlake High School started a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification program. Working with a teacher, they created a year-long program that helped students train to be CERT members who could go out on calls with Austin’s emergency services personnel. In addition, he helped the school’s CERT team compete in national high school CERT competitions.
“The club we founded allowed students to learn how to be emergency responders, but was set up in a way that we could do actual work, not just theoretical concepts,” he said. “We made it to the national level in competition with the club, which is great since the group was only a year old.”
Bunt is looking to join the University’s EMS squad. He’s also looking forward to sharing his experience with his parents. Bunt is a first-generation college student, and he feels both pride at his accomplishment and a responsibility to his family.
“My parents both started college,” he said. “But they didn’t finish. They’re both self-made, but I feel like they’re counting on me to come here and learn and grow. I really can’t wait to have them experience this with me.”