By PSF Scholar Francisco Pinto

“Let me save one more, Lord… Just one more.” by Desmond Doss (Hacksaw Ridge)

Student leaders face evils every day in the world of academics. Tuition costs, depression and drug abuse are just a few of the difficult pitfalls that an average student has to circumnavigate. In the beginning of their journey many student leaders faced these evils and fell.. But they picked themselves back up. They got back up, shaken from the blow, but were motivated to push through every adversity when they remembered, during those difficult moments, that their peers were counting on them to be the inspiration that is scarce in a world filled with selfish ambitions.

Similar to Desmond Doss’ story, the Prison Scholar Fund (PSF) team has not left prison students behind. Because the PSF team remembered me as a student by giving me a scholarship they taught me a valuable lesson: that academic leaders are wired to make sure their fellow students have a sense of security in their education. These chiefs of academia that have impacted my life (Dirk Van Velzen CEO of PSF, Peter Bohmer Professor of Political Economics, and Trevor Wiessler Google Engineer/PSF mentor) have made sure that the students who surround them know they have not been forgotten and have not been left behind. As chiefs of academia the PSF team returned to the dark prison atmosphere, changed lives, gave inmates hope, and reduced chances of future victims.

Being a student that was remembered by these great chiefs of academia, I too want to reflect the actions of those that came before me. I also want to remind students that they have not been forgotten. As a director that helps improve the conditions of my collegial peers, I want to push an agenda that gives students the confidence to acknowledge that they are the substance of what keeps the prosperity of this country alive!

To those chiefs, those captains of academia, I challenge you today to go into your institutions and remember the actions of the PSF team and the words of Desmond Doss when he said,” Let me save one more… ” Yes, there were moments when as students no one stood up for us to succeed, but history will not repeat itself today. History will not repeat itself because today we will be a conduit of hope by <again> remembering those that have been forgotten by not leaving anyone behind…