Continuing King’s Legacy: Aaron Tanyhill ’14

January 16, 2012

Aaron Tanyhill '14Aaron Tanyhill ’14 lives by the motto, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Fueled by a desire to address discrepancies in education, the critical media and cultural studies major has found his niche in sharing documentary films with others, as he did during last year’s Global Peace Film Festival. He’s also a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon and volunteers regularly at the Winter Park Day Nursery.

What do you perceive to be the most pressing issue that your generation should address?

The obsession with fads and trends in my generation masks what is really going on in America. We check Facebook more than we check the news. For that reason, I believe the most pressing issue our generation must address is the lack of awareness the average American has about how our country works, how government functions, and the injustices that are occurring.

How are you helping to make justice a reality?

Economically, my family was not fortunate while I was growing up. But we were very rich—in knowledge and close relationships. I believe justice isn’t monetary, but rather hinges upon education. As result, I volunteer at Winter Park Day Nursery because I want to help shape young minds to provide them the kind of education that I was fortunate enough to have growing up.

During his “I Have a Dream Speech,” King laid out his dream. What is your dream?

My dream is similar to King’s, in that we both hope to improve equality and the quality of life. Professionally, I hope to work in media, hopefully film, working for a marketing team for documentaries that challenge and inspire others to explore and improve the quality of life. My hope is for the documentaries I market to reach people and impact lives.

How does your involvement influence your vision?

The more I am involved with various groups, the more I see the need for an improvement in the quality of life for many people. For example, I work to help end discrimination by vanishing stereotypes with my own actions. I help to improve the living conditions for others by volunteering and leading by example, to get others to volunteer and pay it forward.

What advice do you have for students who are interested in becoming involved but aren’t sure where to start?

You shouldn’t spend your college years just being another brick on the wall. You have to get out and change things. The Office of Community Engagement can help you find your passion and connect you to a community partner.

Honoring the life and legacy of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, MLK Celebration runs January 16-21. Join us in paying homage to King’s work toward equality and economic justice for all people.

By Laura J. Cole

Office of Marketing & Communications
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