By Richard Zagrzecki
For Isaiah Colin, one of the perks of working in the Cougar Card office is being able to meet people from all corners of the world.
One semester, a student from Italy came into the office, which is located on the first floor of the Welcome Center Parking Garage. Since Colin is minoring in Italian, the two struck up a conversation and ended up becoming good friends.
“I even got a chance to visit him over the summer in Italy, which made me fall in love with Italy even more,” said Colin, a junior majoring in marketing.
Italy wasn’t the only place he traveled to last year. Back in April, he and his parents flew to Colombia as part of Sembrando Mochilas, a social venture they created to spread hope, love and encouragement to children in Latin America by giving them educational resources like backpacks, pencils and other school supplies. During the week-long trip, they were able to provide backpacks to many children from the poor mountainous areas around the city of Medellin.
The trip was rewarding and also a learning experience for Colin.
“There was one boy, maybe 8 or 10 years old, and he carried a knife with him for protection. I thought that was very sad and very eye opening,” he said.
Colin, who is originally from Chicago, grew up in southwest Houston and graduated from Challenge Early College High School. His older brother graduated from UH, which paved the way for him to follow in his footsteps.
During the fall of his freshman year, Colin learned the Cougar Card office had an opening for a student worker position, so he applied for it. His main job duty is helping create campus ID cards for students, faculty and staff. It’s a job he enjoys doing.
Besides the student worker job, he also is interning with a local start-up company that sells soccer balls that are only made by fair trade-approved manufacturers. For every soccer ball that is purchased, the company donates one to children in developing nations. After he graduates, he would love to continue working with the company.
“Besides just earning money, I would be giving back to the community. I love the idea of giving back,” he said.
When he’s not attending classes or working, Colin can be found at Lakewood Church, where he sings worship and volunteers with high school students.
He’s also involved with the UH chapter of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and currently serves as its secretary. Every semester, the group holds one or two roundtable programs similar to the television show Shark Tank. Several entrepreneurs and investors come in and students pitch their ideas and get feedback.
“We like to equip students with valuable resources and networks in the entrepreneurship community,” Colin said.