PBA grad turns a passion into a career

By Jennifer Rodino
Features Editor

Sometimes people think that after graduation life tends to slow down and be less chaotic, but not for Jarad Russell.

Russell, 22, graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University in December 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in history, and continues to be very active at PBA while attending graduate school.

Before attending PBA, Russell began his college experience at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Russell explained that the transfer to PBA gave him “a chance to shine and be involved.”

“PBA really shaped my life and it was the transition that I needed,” Russell said. “Since PBA is such a small school, this allowed me to look at all the opportunities God was placing in front of me and really get my name out there.”

Russell immediately became involved in a variety of organizations at his new school, PBA.

While juggling being a full-time undergraduate student, he also had the opportunity to serve on the Welcome Week Steering Committee staff, work as a resident assistant for Oceanview Hall and meet some amazing people while God’s love grew stronger inside of him.

Before graduating, Russell was asked to speak at Senior Chapel in the beginning of December.

Russell took the time to share with PBA students how God has worked in his life and made him a stronger Christian.

Russell explained he has always had a love for basketball.

During his time at ASU, Russell began his coaching service by being in charge of the Mabel Middle School girl’s basketball team.

Russell, however, did not leave his love for basketball at ASU. That passion for the sport would eventually lead him in an exciting career path.

In the fall of 2009, Russell entered into his third season as the assistant coach for the Sailfish women’s basketball program. Russell assists with all facets of the PBA women’s program including practice, travel, film exchange and on-court coaching.

“Having the opportunity to work with the women’s basketball team is such a blessing,” Russell said. “It has taught me about patience and how to build strong relationships with people. I learned that when people are frustrated with low times, it is always encouraging to keep them looking in a positive direction.”

Russell is taking graduate classes for organizational leadership at PBA’s Wellington campus.

In addition to his classes, he continues to work with the lady Sailfish basketball team. Russell is also the assistant resident life director for Oceanview Hall.

He hopes that earning his master’s degree will lead him to a top coaching position at a college or university. He also has a goal to continue on with his work as a resident life director.

“My direction in life all depends on where God wants me to go,” Russell said. “He has placed many obstacles in front of me which have led me to where I am today, and I couldn’t be more blessed.”

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