Jaquarius Raglin is a natural role model.
With seven younger siblings, he’s used to people looking up to him—both literally and figuratively—and he takes that responsibility seriously.
“It’s about inspiring youth and being a positive and humble influence on the next generation so they see that they can be leaders and changemakers,” he said.
His work to mentor and help others was recognized recently with the President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award. Presented at the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Breakfast, the award recognizes students, faculty, staff and community members who exemplify the words and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Raglin graduated from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in health promotion in May 2022 and is finishing his master’s in the study of law. While working on that degree, he’s also working as graduate assistant for retention and diversity initiatives in the Graduate School. Specifically, he works with the Facilitating Underrepresented Student Experiences (FUSE) program and creates monthly academic and social programs to help students from HBCUs transferring to UGA for their graduate studies. He also holds one-on-one sessions with fellow graduate students. His goal is to ensure their success and well-being while they’re at the university.
“We want to be there for those students to help and facilitate their transition to UGA and be a support as much as we can,” he said. “One thing I’m trying to bring to the Graduate School in my position is to be a bridge between resources from undergraduate studies to graduate studies.”
Raglin’s work in diversity and inclusion efforts began as an undergraduate student. He immediately became involved with the Georgia African American Male Experience (GAAME) program, serving as an ambassador and serving as an intern for the program in the Office of Institutional Diversity.
Raglin also became involved in the Georgia Daze program, chairing a committee. He was one of two individuals who helped start the program’s postcard handwriting initiative where members handwrite postcards to admitted minority students. The year it began, they wrote and mailed out approximately 1,200 postcards.
“When students come to UGA for graduate school, it’s important to build that affinity for the university. I love to bring my perspective of my time at UGA as an undergraduate to graduate students. I had a great time at UGA,” he said.
In addition, Raglin was an orientation leader and held several positions with the Student Alumni Council, including vice president of alumni engagement and Senior Signature co-chair. He was also a peer educator in the Division of Academic Enhancement and continues to be part of the UGA Mentor Program. Additionally, he was initiated into the Zeta Pi chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated in spring 2021.
That desire to serve others, he said, comes from his upbringing—he was just as active in his community before coming to Athens.
“I saw how everyone can come together to help each other,” he said. “That’s how I was raised. I was active in my community back home, and there was no choice that I was going to get involved in the Athens community.”
Some of the most impactful work he’s been part of during his time at UGA is with the Community Health Law Partnership Clinic because it focuses on all dimensions of wellness. In fact, Raglin decided on his master’s program so that he can use his legal knowledge to aid in public health goals. After he graduates, he hopes to work in a public health or analyst role for health care consulting or a government position, perhaps even running for Senate one day.
“I’m looking for some way to help people. That’s been my life’s mantra,” he said.
Raglin said the way everyone can help move King’s dream forward is by inspiring the next generation.
“I’m really big on being an inspiration. I think that comes from me being a big brother of seven,” he said. “I have a picture of some of them nearby that reminds me that I do have people who look up to me, who are coming after me, that I want to be a good role model for.”
And according to Raglin, a good role model has to show humility.
“I’m not perfect. I have struggles as well. It’s OK to fail sometimes but don’t let the failure keep you down,” he said.
For Raglin, the President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award is the culmination of his work from before he came to the university, then through Graduate School and beyond.
“I knew I was doing something right and my work wasn’t going in vain. It’s going to help somebody,” he said.
Read the story on UGA Today.
– Krista Richmond
Posted on February 6, 2023.