Damier Johnson Roberts ’18
“Taking advantage of all the opportunities and resources on campus has helped me enormously.”
I’m the President of the Saint Peter’s Health and Fitness Club. We do a lot of work with local schools in Jersey City – PS 39 and others. We work with the kids to get them active, we host field days and we have them work out. We give them fruit and water and teach them about nutrition. Last year we gave them basketballs. We used grant money to help fund the food and equipment. It’s great to go into the schools. You have to be calm with the kids and have fun.
I’m also the aquatics and wellness assistant at the University Recreation Center. I help plan events, supervise lifeguards and pool maintenance. I’m helping to organize the Color Run – registration, man the stations, the after party with DJ. It should be a good time. I also run a fitness class called Body Goals Fitness. It’s no weights, just lots of interval training. It’s in the Recreation Center.
You’ll also see me a lot on the Saint Peter’s Facebook page in videos. We want to build a fitness initiative on campus so we started doing them over the summer to get folks moving at home. Hopefully more people will be inspired to do recreation events after seeing them. They’re also on Instagram and Twitter. Last week I did a workout video with President Cornacchia. That was fun.
I’ve lived in central NJ all my life. One of my aunts went to school here and said it was a good university, so I decided to apply here. I got a lot of scholarship money, more than anywhere else. I’m also in the EOF program. The summer academy put me into the college mode early before I even started school – reading and writing and math, working with professors, I really got a leg up. Ultimately, I want to own a personal training studio. CEEL (the Center for Career Engagement and Experiential Learning) helped me with my resume. Now I’m thinking about finance as a minor.
Last semester I did an internship with Jersey City Fitness, a local fitness boot camp. A professor of mine referred me to them. I just wanted to work out and do my job, but it was totally different than what I expected. I learned how to coach people, motivate and encourage them, and pay attention to details. I want to do another internship, maybe something with nutrition.
This past summer I went to Colorado for the national Jesuit student leadership conference. It was a gathering of all the Jesuit schools in the country. Mind body and soul – cura personalis – is important to me. I see at Saint Peter’s that we have our soul – our religion, we’ve got our mind on classes, but we also need to focus on the body. We need to work out and eat right, get fit and healthy.
Going to Colorado really changed me, I feel like I can do anything. It helped me conquer my fear of heights. It was my first time on an airplane, and we did a ropes course in the mountains. I feel more sociable too. I networked with people from other universities. People who didn’t know me were so open. It inspired me to be more social, to be more open to other people, to genuinely be nice and more outgoing. The keynote talked about not taking yourself too seriously, being relaxed so you can bring more creativity to your job. That’s what I picked up.
My advice to anyone in school – make the best of it. Taking advantage of all the opportunities and resources on campus has helped me enormously.
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- Carteret, NJ
- Fitness, finance
- To own a personal training studio