Green, a senior at Indiana University Kokomo, gives credit to his experiences here that ultimately gave him the confidence, motivation, and support he needed to make it to graduation this spring.
"Something just clicked in me, and I wasn't the same apathetic student I was before," Green said, referring to his high school days. "The supportive relationship I have with my academic advisor not only helped me academically, but improved my self image as well."
High school saw Green as a student who blew off homework, with no plans to attend college. After barely earning a general diploma, he figured minimum wage jobs were his future.
"Then, I decided I didn't want to work as a cashier forever," he said. "When you are removed from education, that's when you start to value it. So, I enrolled at IU Kokomo."
The new media major began his freshman year with big ambitions and hasn't slowed down since. Green has made Dean's List every semester and is recognized as a student leader.
Using his friendly, quirky personality to break the ice with incoming freshman, Green is a student orientation leader, mans the front desk in the student activities office, and assistant teaches HSS-S200, a motivation and self-management course.
"As an orientation leader, I lead campus tours for parents and new students and talk about the benefits of IU Kokomo. I also help students register for classes and educate them on resources at school that will help them achieve their goals," Green said.
"As an assistant teacher, I often lead class discussions and mentor students. When students are struggling in the class, I tell them that I have had trouble with school in the past but got through the challenge. It makes me more relatable," he added.
Green believes the sense of "togetherness" he gets at IU Kokomo has changed the way he encounters a challenge.
"The path to being successful involves staying positive whenever you encounter a problem," said Green. "Instead of focusing on problems or challenges, I internalize them and channel that energy into a productive goal. Classes are small, so I have often formed close relationships with my teachers. They help me keep a positive attitude."
Sarah Sarber, dean of students, believes that other college students can learn a lot from Green.
"Stephen is caring and has a very positive attitude," said Sarber. "He genuinely wants everyone to be successful."
New media majors like Kalie Davis also admire Green.
"He has changed IU Kokomo by demonstrating the power of involvement. Stephen reveals that you don't have to go to a huge campus to get the college experience," said Davis.
Green has been accepted to his top choice school, Colorado State University's master's program in Student Affairs and Higher Education. He wants to eventually become a Dean of Students.
Coordinator of Campus Diversity Maria Ahmad said Green would continue to be successful because of his work ethic and compassion for others.
"Stephen is such a friendly face on campus that is approachable," Ahmad said. "He will be great in student affairs because of his willingness to try different things. He understands that academic classes are not the only things in life that teach lessons."
Green is grateful for his experiences at IU Kokomo. As a result, he has become a more confident, hard working individual.
"IU Kokomo gave me the opportunity to achieve more than I ever thought I could. I have been awarded the dean's list, I'm a campus leader, I have supportive friends, and my future is bright," said Green.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.