Alumni Profile: Newton Paul
Mr. Paul has served as a Morrisville State College Alumni Board Member and now endows the Paul Family Scholarship Fund in order to reciprocate opportunities in higher education that he received while a student.
Mr. Paul moved from working for a Fortune 500 company for ten years to begin making a difference in education and cultural outreach. He later founded Latin Heritage Cards, an organization that embraces key players in Latin culture by profiling them on playing cards. The product has been featured on a variety of news shows including WABC Tiempo.
His work is ongoing and, as excerpted from Mr. Paul’s responses after the jump, a key to change and its subsequent success is held in the mantra, “carpe diem!”
1. Educating and empowering the masses is a central theme in your professional work. Why?
Education is the key to change. Education can be academic and/or non-academic. The way I try to live is by using my education (both academic and non-academic) to serve others. There are many individuals in my community and in the world, who have not obtained their elementary, junior high or high school diploma. It is likely that they will be not afforded an opportunity to venture into certain industries, roles, etc.
On the flip side, they can be educated through experience and/or non-academic settings and thrive. My goal is to provide resources (whether contacts, certification(s), hands-on education, etc) to individuals in need or that are passionate for a particular aspiration. I make it my business to articulate to them, that I am taking time to assist you in meeting your vision, but you have to give your word that you will do it for someone else in need. Often people are surprised that I am not looking to obtain something for myself… that’s empowering the masses!
I have been granted scholarship money over the years for academics, so I thought it would be important to endow a scholarship fund that honors my family and will support others. That is empowering!
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2. Where do you gather inspiration for your innovation?
I do plenty of reading, but I recently opened up my scope of interest. Now I am reading more science, fashion, cultural and art magazines. It is an interesting perspective that I am not accustom to reading. I was into entrepreneurial, business, and finance magazines/books. Most importantly, I realize they are all connected and expand your opportunities to create and be innovative.
Also, I like to take negative situations and make them positive. For example, I started Latin Heritage Cards a week after being assaulted and had my cheekbone broken in five (5) parts, bone fracture near my eye socket and stitches. I was so charged up on doing something positive, that we launched in three (3) months and were featured on ABCs’ Tiempo Show. We have been rolling strong ever since.
3. What clubs or activities did you participate in while attending SUNY Morrisville?
I was involved as a recycling technician, student government, ASUBA, Phi Beta Lambda (Business Organization), and West Hall Pool Table Champion on singles & doubles. I also engaged in various conferences, small group discussions, and working with professors on project. Lastly, I would attend some parties on and off campus. I believe in balance of life.
4. Where did you see yourself at the beginning of your career and where do you see yourself in the future?
I really was in a process of finding myself and understanding what I wanted. After SUNY Morrisville, I went to SUNY Oswego to complete my B.S in Business Administration and M.S in Human Services & Counseling.
I really enjoyed working in higher education, specifically in Residence Life & Housing and teaching some courses. I loved the students and work but I always felt that I wanted to make more money. I made it all the way to Director of Residence Life & Housing in Virginia, but then I received a call to come into the pharmaceutical industry. For me, that was all financially motivated, I was young and it looked appealing. I have been in the industry for over 10 years and I realize I want more out of life that will allow me to “Educate and Empower” the masses. That’s when I created Latin Heritage Cards. This was something I was/am passionate about and it would allow educating each other while being entertained. Most importantly, it will allow individuals to engage with one another via the cards or just discussions around the information on each card.
Technology has reduced individual vis-à-vis contact. I have created opportunities to provide jobs, allow individuals a creative voice, take a lead in the business, hone their skills, and to build a culture that will be transparent.
5. Overall, how did your college education help prepare you for life and your career?
It allowed me to be excited about reading and learning. With the various perspectives from professors’ teaching styles and students’ viewpoints, I felt like I could relate in many ways based on commonalities. It taught me to be confident in what I believe and to be okay with voicing my opinions and/or beliefs. Moreover, there is the responsibility of being open to others opinions and/or beliefs. It taught me not to limit myself to opportunities and to take calculated risk(s). I believe this fits in my college education and career.