While looking back on their high school education, most students wish for differences. For Charles Ferrer, it’s about making those dreams a reality.
When he’s not doing work as an Entertainment captain for THON, putting his passionate efforts into Homecoming, or attending his meetings for the Penn State Filipino Association, Penn State senior Ferrer is working on future ideas for the Bergenfield Board of Education. This past November, Ferrer ran against 4 other candidates for a position on the board of his hometown in Bergenfield, New Jersey, a town about 15 minutes outside of New York City with a population of 27,000. It is known for being one of the most culturally diverse communities in the nation.
“The Bergenfield Public School District had such a positive impact on my personal growth in and outside the classroom that once I graduated in 2009, I was compelled to give back,” said Ferrer. He created a plan as a freshman, and announced his candidacy in February 2012 as a junior here at Penn State.
As the only candidate in the election to utilize social media, Ferrer, a self-proclaimed social media addict, said, “It was pretty awesome to interact with members of the community with the click of the mouse at the comfort of my apartment here at Penn State.” He also took trips home during the fall semester to speak at school functions and talk to voters.
On Election Day, Ferrer ran against 4 other candidates for 2 spots on the board. He described the waiting process as “gut-wrenching,” but when he had discovered that he won, “I felt numb and lightheaded. To this day, I feel like it still hasn’t happened,” said Ferrer.
As a representative of the Bergenfield Board of Education, Ferrer and the 4 other members are responsible for “evaluating the superintendent, approving the district’s $60 million budget, crafting district policies, making changes to curriculum, and approving all personnel changes,” as well as over-seeing the five elementary schools, middle school, and high school within the region.
Personal goals for Ferrer are implementing social media to disseminate information across the district, as well as adding a student representative to the board.
Although he has many future endeavors assuredly headed his way, Ferrer is unsure of his career when it comes to politics. “I’ll take things one step at a time and see where life takes me. I may not be the next President Obama but I certainly want to help as many people as I can to have the best quality life possible,” he said.
As for the Ferrer/Pryor ballot for 2028, said Ferrer, “That certainly has a nice ring to it!”