Stonehill College is deeply grateful to the faculty, staff, alumni, and friends who have joined together with our Faculty of Color Association (FOCA) to establish the FOCA Student Leadership Award. 

2021-2022 Academic Year Recipient

Tahj Valentine '22
Tahj Valentine '22

Scholar Name: Tahj Valentine

Class: 2022

Field of Study: Management

Hometown: Morristown, NJ

Award Recipient Background

The 2021-2022 Student Government Association President, Tahj Valentine ’22 has made many contributions to the Stonehill College community, including serving as a student liaison on our Institutional Diversity Action Committee; co-founding the group Students in Action; and facilitating the Fall 2020 Student Sit-In. He is also a member of the football team, MOSAIC, the Black Student Union and co-founded Beacon of Light (the first Gospel choir at Stonehill). Additionally, Tahj is a teaching assistant, business ambassador, FYE facilitator, and RA. 

In her nomination of Tahj for the inaugural FOCA Student Leadership Award, Former Director of Residence Life Kristen Pierce '01 wrote that Tahj feels a “deep responsibility to work collaboratively with others across campus to address issues of social justice and bring people together to work towards a common goal” and that Tahj has succeeded in “taking on numerous leadership roles, building connections with campus leadership, and role modeling to peers what it means to enact positive change.”

A Q and A with Tahj Valentine '22

Why did you choose to enroll at Stonehill College?

I choose to enroll at Stonehill College because I thought that there was a great family atmosphere and community. I also came to continue my football career here at Stonehill.

What is your favorite part about being a student at Stonehill?

My favorite thing about being a student here at Stonehill is my ability to freely speak up for what is right and take an active role in creating a better community.

What are some of your proudest moments at Stonehill, as well as some your greatest challenges during your time here?

One of my proudest moments at Stonehill was being a Co-Founder of Students In Action (SIA) and holding the first-ever Sit-In at Stonehill College. This reason is that it helps liberate and give so many people the spotlight to use their voices and speak up about problems that they faced. I would also say running for the SGA Executive President position and winning it was a big moment because it allowed me to take a greater role as a Student Leader.

How has mentorship played a role in your Stonehill journey – both a mentee and a mentor?

It is very important for our underclassmen to have some type of positive mentorship on campus to help them navigate their way through college. My journey, in the beginning, was a little rocky, but I was fortunate to know so many great role models who helped show me the way. I am so thankful that I can help others by being a Resident Assistant (RA) and a former Teaching Assistant (TA).

What are your professional goals and aspirations?

I am currently a Firefighter back in New Jersey, so I plan to do that as my profession full-time and start my own business on the side. I may also start a non-for-profit that goes out and speaks to kids to help motivate them to seek success.

Photos from the Fall 2020 Students in Action Sit-In

Support the FOCA Student Leadership Award

Make Your Gift