For as long as he can remember, Jaylen Bush’s life has been about service. As a child, he was inspired by the work of his mother, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority; she too dedicated her life to service. As a teen, Bush was an outstanding member of the Top Teens of America organization and he played a role in the high school’s student senate beginning his freshman year. Now as the freshman senator of Lewis University, Jaylen Bush notices many areas of need for student services.
Bush was inspired to lead a life of service by his mother, “She was in the first African-American sorority in history.” “They do leadership, scholarships, community service, that sort of deal. My mother, being my mother, takes me and my siblings to community service events, soup kitchens and thanksgiving meal day preparations.”
Based on those experiences, Bush discovered his purpose. Every leadership and community service event he attended, he became more convinced of his commitment to public service. He then became involved in Top Teens of America. “It’s a co-ed national student government system and community service system,” said Bush.
“I would be in Chicago, mostly underprivileged areas. One year, we were at an underprivileged school, kind of torn down, so me and a couple hundred volunteers painted it, built up areas that were torn down and updated it,” he said.
Bush went to domestic abuse homes, senior centers and the homes of elderly members on national holidays. He visited members of the community that were generally ignored. As he entered high school, Bush set himself as an example for his peers.
Upon entering Lewis as a freshman, Bush already had a storied background in public service and nearly swept the competition in his race for student senate. Once elected to Lewis Student Senate, he sought to bring his unique perspective.
He has a unique way of campaigning, as he put it; he traveled to all three freshman dorms and performed complex magic tricks in the lounge areas. While unconventional, Bush claims this approach was a great influence for student votes.
Bush’s biggest issues to combat are food services and parking. “This is a 60 percent commuter school and people are upset about there not being enough spots, like faculty and staff or there could be snow in the spots. The senate meets with the head of Sodexo as well as many of the workers at the dining halls across campus. “We try to have a good relationship with the head cook and the workers at Charlie’s,” said Bush.
Having attended the general assembly, Bush responded to students concerns and alleged symptoms of food poisoning. “I know that the food quality is quite low but food poisoning might be a strong word,” said Bush. Still, as a representative of the student body, he respects and review all student concerns.
Bush anticipates running for sophomore senator and eventually, junior and senior senators. Indeed, he is looking into running for vice president or director of communications. “Something I’ve thought about for a long time… president is one of the toughest jobs at the university. They need to give 100 percent. Maybe even 110 percent,” he said.
Even though he does not see himself serving as class president, Bush has not ruled out local government.
“I have been thinking about after college, maybe after gaining some revenue… I would run for a smaller town, maybe a mayor and then if that goes well I’ll run for senator, maybe governor. Depending on how that goes, maybe there will be a chance for me to run for president,” said Bush.
Even though a position in local government would be years down the line, Bush is planning his future career. Though he is currently undecided, he is considering a major in the aviation field. With the money he could make from being a pilot, he could eventually fund a campaign.
Jaylen Bush’s story is an inspiring tale of placing the needs of others before his own.