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Larnelle La Rose ’14, Resident Assistant

If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet Larnelle La Rose you are seriously missing out. This CAS major goes out of his way to make people feel special by greeting everyone with a big smile and a hug. You can feel your spirits lift the minute you start talking with him.

This good-natured Campus Celebrity comes all the way from Trinidad and Tobago and often finds himself obsessively playing Candy Crush or indulging in fruit snacks. He radiates love and happiness, much like this week’s Campus Cutie Ashleigh Groome.

His love for life frequently shines through in conversation so much that people are always asking him why he’s so happy. His answer is a simple one: “I can smile, I can breathe, ya know?”

In 2008, Larnelle moved to the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago. When asked if he’ll ever return he said, “Maybe, one day, to retire. I’ll go back and just sip on a drink and sit on the beach all day.”

If he could do one thing without failing, he would help people who are struggling and suffering. He just wants to see people smile more and enjoy life. His selflessness doesn’t end there, if he had just one wish it would be that all of his family and friends would be taken care of.

On campus, Larnelle works as an RA, is the supervisor of Freyberger Gallery, and a member of multiple clubs. A lot of people wouldn’t be able to handle Larnelle’s stressful schedule but it never seems to get in the way of his easy-going personality. He still finds time to stop and talk with friends in the hall and make sure they are doing all right.

He fulfills his desire to help people by being one of Penn State Berks’ Resident Assistants. He says he became an RA because he’s just trying to return a favor: When he first came to Berks, an RA really helped him and he wants to pay it forward. His favorite part of his job is meeting new people and working with the Resident Life staff.

He also greatly enjoys working with his fellow RAs because the bond they share is really great. He’s tremendously grateful to be part of that community because helping people has really helped him grow as a person and appreciate life more.

His advice for residents here on campus is to “find friends that you can rely on and who support you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are struggling because there are so many resources here on campus, just stretch out your hand.”

As supervisor of the Freyberger Gallery, he indulges his creative side by constantly being surrounded by art. He works with gallery assistants and gives tours to guests. The gallery hosts student-based exhibits and professional artists all year. Larnelle’s favorite exhibit is “The Life Atomic” which showcased different photos, videos, and objects that demonstrated the impact of the atomic bomb on everyday life.

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When he’s not busy with his two jobs, he likes to support several on-campus clubs: B.S.C.C. (Brotherhood of Scholarship, Cultural Awareness & Community Service), African Student Union, Black Student Union, and Latino Unity Club. All of the clubs he is a part of work to create cultural awareness and serve the local community.

Through these clubs, he has been able to volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of Reading, Opportunity House, and Be a Penn Stater for a Day. Between his work as an RA, the Freyberger gallery, and classes he feels he can’t be very involved with his clubs but he tries to be there for support.

In his free time he loves to play soccer. He was on Penn State Berks’ soccer team from 2009-2012 but had to stop playing because players only have 4 years of eligibility. He rotated positions but often played defender or striker. He really enjoyed getting to know his teammates and traveling to different areas to play.

“That’s one thing I really enjoy doing,” he says of traveling, “you get to be free from all negativity and you can just be yourself.”

 

 

Culture, his faith, and family are three things that this Campus Celebrity finds to be very important. He enjoys learning about different cultures.

“Seeing other cultures – it’s like oh my gosh they do the same thing I do. Even though they call it different things, we’re still the same. It’s like a home away from home.” he said.

Growing up in a Christian home, his faith is something he holds close to his heart.

“My whole life has been nothing short of a miracle. I’ve been through a lot of trials and tribulations in life but I’m here thanks to the grace of God,” he stated.

Two phrases he lives by are actually Bible verses. The first is Proverbs 3:6, “Put God first in everything you do.” And the second is Phillipians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

When asked about the meaning of life, his answer is a wise one and something we can all try to follow: “We need to use the gifts and talents that God gave us to make ourselves and others happy.”

 

 

Kristy is a senior at Penn State Berks.
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