From an early age, Echo Greyson was passionate about music. In fifth grade, he began playing the trumpet and later switched to the tuba, which he played in the Goshen High School marching band. He also taught himself to play guitar in eighth grade and auditioned and played in the high school jazz band. He hopes as a high school music education teacher, he can inspire his students to appreciate music, too.
Before he learned about the 21st Century Scholar program in middle school, Echo didn’t think he would be able to afford to go to college. “I’m blazing my own trail,” explained the first-generation college student. “My family is supportive, but they don’t understand the time, commitment, and responsibility my job as a resident assistant (RA) and my coursework require.”
Inspired by the senior RA in his dorm in River Crossing campus housing his freshman year, Echo decided to apply to be an RA. “I really looked up to him,” recalled Echo. “He pushed me towards it.” After two interviews—one that involved teamwork exercises—Echo and seven others were selected to be RAs. “The RA training was very intense,” he said. “We challenged ourselves physically and mentally.”
Although being an RA means he visits his family in Goshen less often, and he has to manage his time more carefully, Echo loves his job. “I have excellent leadership skills,” he explained. “My heart is in the right place to lead others.”
Unlike many first-generation college students, Echo felt comfortable early-on seeking help and asking questions. He understood the demands of college would be more difficult than high school. He wasn’t afraid to talk to his teachers after class, and he took full advantage of the academic resources available to help students at IU South Bend. “My freshman year, I was a regular at the Writer’s Room,” said Echo. “And I sought help in math and music, too.”
Echo attributes his strong work ethic in college to his family. “We worked hard as a family,” he explained. “Today, it helps me push toward my dreams.”
IU South Bend feels like the right fit, too. Echo was also admitted to two other Indiana colleges, but chose IU South Bend because he felt it had an environment where he could shine. “I feel like I can excel and be a leader at IU South Bend,” said Echo. “I’m proud to be a Titan.”