Elite Pirates 2012 Taj

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Elite Pirates Feature

Name: Taj Nasser
Age: 19
Grade: Junior
Hometown: Wilson, NC
Major: Chemistry, with Hispanic studies minor
Dream job: A physician in a rural area with a large Spanish speaking population
Favorite class: Spanish 1004
Favorite website: www.google.com
Favorite author: John C. Maxwell
Favorite place to eat: Plaza Azteca
Hobbies/Interests: Playing soccer, reading, swimming, shopping, exploring other cultures, collecting dollar coins, relaxing, and traveling.

Before Taj Nasser became a student at East Carolina University, he would visit his older brother who was attending the university. Nasser said he loved the environment, how friendly everyone was, and the beautiful campus.

Once Nasser decided to attend ECU, he became involved in the Golden Leaf Foundation's Campus Ambassador program. He credits a Golden Leaf leadership retreat, his first ever leadership retreat and workshop, for showing him his career goals.

"This retreat was eye-opening and made me consider what I wanted to do with my future and how I was going to change the world," said Nasser. "It was here that I discovered my 'spark,' which is to help others who are in need and to help them feel better."

Once Nasser discovered this 'spark,' he knew that he wanted to go into medicine. This leadership experience, he said, showed him how to take the passion he has for helping others and to turn that passion into reality for his future.

"Medicine is truly my dream job," he said. "Saving lives is a great honor and privilege not many get to enjoy, and that is something I want to witness."

When Nasser heard he was accepted into the Elite Pirates, he called the experience his best ECU memory. He had gone to his interview, and then went to the Rec Center to work out. After a swim, he saw that he had a voicemail, and after replaying the message, learned of his acceptance into the program.

"The joy I had that night after learning I was an Elite Pirate cannot be expressed in words," said Nasser. "I was very grateful for the blessing, and it became more certain that with determination and commitment, that which seems impossible can be attained."

Nasser said he most looks forward to being a role model for ECU students. To him, a true leader is one who guides others and is willing to work and not just delegate.

Nasser added that being in the program is a great recognition and opportunity because it proves who the students are and the struggles they have been through to get to this point.

"After the determination and the hard work, our sense of self-motivation encourages us to do more as Elite Pirates," he said.

As a student, Nasser says he also is extremely proud of the spirit and traditions at ECU.

"Of all the traditions, my favorite one is the simple chant of 'PURPLE, GOLD!' he said. "To be able to walk around campus and view a sight where if one person shouts 'PURPLE!' everyone else know the response and automatically shout back 'GOLD!' is very cool. This tradition not only unites all Pirates through a simple chant, but also creates a sense of belonging."