#ProudTZGrad Joseph Blanchet (‘18) is a second-year Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering major and Honors Program student at Northeastern University, where he serves as a Presidential Ambassador for the Office of the President and the Office of University Events. He is also the Diversity & Outreach Chair for the school’s chapter of Beta Theta Pi. This semester, Blanchet landed his first co-op placement and is working full-time as a Medical Device Systems Engineer at Medtronic in Framingham, MA.
As a Presidential Ambassador, Blanchet attends events with the university’s president, trustees, alumni, donors and distinguished faculty to represent the student experience and to ensure that everything runs smoothly. “As a leading member of SO BOTZ and its Public Relations Chair, I was very involved in building the team from its start and seeing us through to the FIRST World Championship in Detroit. SO BOTZ functioned more like a start-up company run by students than an after school extracurricular and I got a taste of what it is like to be at the forefront of an organization. These are skills that I use in my role as a Presidential Ambassador,” he reports. “I contributed to our Build Subteam’s endeavors while constructing the robot and learned how to manage different teams and personalities. These project management skills have helped me, both with classes and at Medtronic. I enjoy being in leadership roles where I can operate more laterally and oversee all of the individual contributions to a project come together.”
Blanchet says that his passion for diversity was ignited at TZHS. “My family is composed of different ethnicities, races, and cultures. Throughout high school, I often chose assignment topics on injustices toward minority groups all over the world. My passion for social justice grew and I educated myself on ways to use whatever platform I had to give voice to those who may not have one,” he explains. “As Diversity & Outreach Chair, I work to foster an inclusive environment through recruitment and member education.”
Beyond academics, Blanchet says that the relationships he built were what prepared him most for college and career. “My teachers were always extremely supportive of me in all my endeavors and cared about what I was saying, thinking and feeling. I was closest with Ms. Premus, Mr. Robertson, Mr. Silver, Ms. Corcoran and Ms. Bruno, and they helped foster an intellectual confidence that has contributed to my ability to pursue and achieve my goals,” he says. “I learned how to focus my beliefs and ambitions through brief discussions with teachers in between classes that often made me late to my next class. I developed a stronger personality and moral compass through long after school conversations with other students and teachers that resulted in my mom calling to ask why I wasn’t home yet. I took the time to connect with the people around me, taking in all the good and leaving the bad behind, in the hopes that I could become the best version of myself.”
Our #ProudTZGrad campaign highlights recent Tappan Zee High School alumni who are excelling in an area that is directly connected to their academic and/or school-based extracurricular pursuits at TZHS.