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Purpose Well-Being: Leonard A. Christo '02
This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.
“You always treat people respectfully and try to better others,” he says. “Your actions are a reflection of not only you, but your family and ancestors as well.”
These principles are evident in Christo’s choices. He joined ROTC to help pay for college. His service commitments at Bentley included the youth development program City Year and helping Greek immigrants translate citizenship packets (he is fluent in the language). Getting fellow students involved in campus life was a priority in his role as a resident assistant. The avid runner — and now Ironman triathlete — didn’t hesitate to help a student with dreams to run a marathon.
“We trained and I ran with her for encouragement and to boost her confidence,” says the former Finance major.
Sometimes, philotimo requires personal sacrifice. After graduating from Bentley, Christo put a finance career on hold to serve his country.
“The 9/11 attacks solidified that we were a country at war, and as a cadet I was part of that,” he says of being selected for the U.S. Air Force intelligence officer course and completing 10 years of active duty. In addition to intelligence work, Christo aided humanitarian projects to build up Afghanistan’s infrastructure and schoolbased literacy programs.
Today, at Howard College in Texas, he is an assistant professor of business and activity director for e-START, a project to increase students’ pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“Find opportunities to take what you learn and apply it to different areas of your life,” he advises. “Then you can make a difference in a way that not only helps you, but the people around you.”
When Brenden Botelho ‘20 and Jonny Boains ‘18 took internships in the Mass. Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, what was the biggest community problem to tackle? Adapting to climate change.