Noah, Emerging Philanthropist

And I thought that was a really interesting and sort of a savage quote from the Bible.


XASS:  Let’s start with the basics. What year are you? Where are you from? What is your major?

Noah: Sure. I’m a sophomore. I’m from a beach town in northern San Diego called Oceanside. I am majoring in economics, or at least declaring my major in economics this quarter.

XASS: Why econ?

Noah: A lot of various reasons, I guess. I was thinking about going into philanthropy. I was always raised as the smart child in my family, so I want to provide for my family in the future, give back to them and give back to the community, give back to other people. So I just figured the best way to do that is to study economics and probably go into finance.

XASS: When you say “go into philanthropy” do you mean become a philanthropist, or do you mean you want to work in a philanthropic organization?

Noah: I want to become a philanthropist myself because I want to start organizations on my own that I think will outreach and help other people that might not be helped by those organizations that already exist.  I think philanthropic organizations are great, but it depends on which ones you’re talking about. And that’s why I want to do my own: I just want to make sure the proper resources are going to the proper places.

XASS: Do you have any non-academic hobbies or passions?

Noah: Yes! I’m really into sports. I played a lot of different sports in high school. I’m into football. I watch college and pro football. I’m also really into jazz. I played jazz saxophone through high school. And that’s something I’m really interested in and have been exploring more throughout my time at Stanford.

XASS: Do you go to Stanford games?

Noah:   I haven’t recently, because my schedule’s been too busy. Also, we haven’t been very great. *laughs* I did go to games last year as a freshman, and I did go to a game this quarter once already.  I’ll probably end up going to Big Game because it’s here.

XASS: Did your interest in philanthropy come primarily from your faith or from some other place?

Noah: That’s a very good question. I’d have to say it’s a mix of both. I know God’s word teaches to be giving. I really love to help people. I never like to be a burden on other people; I like to help wherever I can. I wasn’t raised in the most wealthy background, I would say. I mean, we weren’t poor, but we weren’t well-off either. So I feel like financial stability is something that I’ve always strived for and that I wish to bestow upon others once I obtain it.

XASS:  Talking about your family reminds me that earlier you mentioned you were the smart child. How many siblings do you have?

Noah:   I have, technically, three siblings. One of them’s a half sibling who is way older than me – that’s my sister. And I have two brothers: one is a year older than me and the other is a year younger than me.

XASS: Are they in college, too?

Noah: Yes. The older one just transferred to UCSB and is studying theater, and the younger one is attending a community college, and he wants to go into music and sound technology.

XASS: How did you get connected to Chi Alpha?

Noah:   I was basically ready to come to Chi Alpha before I got here. Pastor Doug from my hometown church knows Glen and he told me “Hey, you’re going to Stanford. You should go talk to my friend, Glen. He’s a good guy. Go into Chi Alpha, get connected with them.” I thought, “OK, cool.” Sure enough, within a few weeks of arriving at Stanford, I went to my first big group and said hi to Glen. He took a selfie with me and sent it to Pastor Doug. So yeah,  that’s how I got into Chi Alpha.

XASS: That’s awesome! Overall, how has Stanford been for your faith? Has it been positive, neutral, negative?

Noah: It’s been positive for sure! I guess it’s the combination of me taking care of myself, being independent as well as having that influence from Chi Alpha helping me to surround myself with a lot of different people that are deep in the faith and have a good relationship with Jesus.  And I think that’s overall helped me to grow in my faith here at Stanford, especially because of all the different surrounding influences that college has on one person. It’s good to have something that anchors you.

XASS: Do you have a favorite Bible verse or passage?

Noah: Yes, I do.  It’s one that stuck with me from last year’s life group. It’s Romans chapter nine verse 21 in the New Living Translation. It has to be the NLT because it’s funny how it says it. “When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decorations and another to throw garbage into?”  And I thought that was a really interesting and sort of a savage quote from the Bible. It really puts things into perspective on how it’s not within us to question God’s authority or His rule over us, because He created us and He’s God – He gets to do what He wants with us. So I think it’s best to seek out what God wants for you in life.

XASS: Final question: the classic question. Are you in a relationship?.

Noah: No, I’ve never been in a relationship ever in my life

XASS: Are you open?

Noah: Yes, I am open, but I don’t want to, like, force myself into anything that will be negative or will negatively impact me. I am open, but I want it to come naturally.

XASS:  All right, ladies. You heard it here first. *Noah begins laughing* Thank you for your time, Noah!