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Deal, on his way to Columbia!

However, now that he is thinking about it, Deal realizes he will miss Georgia and the South.

“I started thinking about floating down the river and hiking on the trails,” Deal said, laughing. “I know I will miss the South, but it is good to have change.”

Deal will also miss Georgia Highlands, he said.

“I will mostly miss the amazing support group I have at Georgia Highlands,” he said. “When I first started I was so nervous.”

The first meeting he attended was for a political science club, and he had to make himself volunteer to run for an office. He is now the president of the club. He is also vice president of the Equality Alliance, a secretary for the Student Government, an orientation leader and the secretary of Phi Theta Kappa.

Deal credits GHC’s Emerging Leaders Program with bringing him out of his shell and helping him learn the skills he needs.

“I have gained an awareness of the power of leading,” he said. “They provide so many professional and leadership opportunities.”

He also has good things to say about the other students and the faculty at GHC.

“My fellow students and all of the staff have been so encouraging,” Deal said. “They really pushed me to get more involved and I have appreciated that. Georgia Highlands is really a place of open hearts and open minds.”

He hopes to put his love for political science into his career. He has two thoughts right now about what he wants to do — the United Nations and conservation.

“If I go the more governmental route, I have dreamed about working for the UN,” he said. “But I am also looking into minoring in sustainable development, because I think being green and conserving resources is so important. If I do not go into government, I would like working with an organization that helps people who do not have a lot of resources. Something that will help make a difference.”

His interest in political science started early, he said.

“When I was younger, I was very cynical about politics,” he said. “I saw it as dog-eat-dog, and a lot of talk but no walk. When I realized that no one seemed to really be doing anything, I realized that you have to know what it is about before you can start to make changes. I decided I wanted to make a difference, and I felt like I needed to really study it.”

One of his favorite memories of Georgia Highlands is a trip his poli sci group took to Washington, D.C.

“We took it during spring break, so instead of partying, we went to the White House and the Supreme Court and museums,” said Deal, laughing. “It was an amazing trip, though. It is very inspiring to see the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. You can imagine the founding fathers sitting there, drafting the documents.”

The trip made him realize even more how important it is to be more involved.

“People think their vote doesn’t count, but it really does,” said Deal. “So many issues affect us at the national level.”

Going back to his work with the Emerging Leaders Program, Deal said he has a goal for his life now.

“Not only do I want to change the world,” he said. “I want to bring everyone with me.”