Choosing where you go to college is often the first and the biggest decision you make as a young adult. It sets the tone for the rest of your life. So, it behooves you to choose wisely. No pressure, right?
Barry alumnus Eric Estevez, served on the judiciary committee as a state representative for New Hampshire from November 2014 – January 2017. He was given the opportunity to be interviewed by the Buccaneer Newspaper, reliving the day he chose to live his Barry life.
Born in Melrose, Massachusetts, Estevez is of Sicilian, Puerto Rican, and Dominican descent. He gives credit to his grandparents for being a great influence in his life. At a young age, he was expected to take care of his family by working two manual labor jobs. While working he experienced exploitation and prejudice, but these experiences were nonetheless character-building moments in his life.
Then, came the decision to stay in town to help his family or to go to Barry University. He chose the latter and it was the best decision he had ever made.
When he walked on campus, he felt like the Barry motto should have said “where you belong!” Estevez remembers a specific moment when he was greeted and hugged by then-school president Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin during his tour. He was impressed by the landscape, friendly neighbors, and the Catholic tradition based on integrity and public service.
He began his academic journey by majoring in political science and remained active throughout his stay. His greatest moment was when he won a seat on the Student Government Association. He also has fond memories of attending sporting and campus events. These events taught him to effectively communicate with people of different backgrounds.
Estevez served in the United States Army Reserve Officer Training Corps in 2005 while attending Barry and “it really instilled discipline into his daily life,” he said. He made lifelong friends which made his time at Barry even better.
After leaving Barry with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2005, he went onto Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts to pursue his graduate studies while working for Fidelity Investment.
At the start of his career, Estevez would later learn the meaning of a quote from the famous Helen Keller.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
After deciding to run for House of Representative for New Hampshire as a Republican in 2011, he lost to Jim Lawrence by 40 percent.
Estevez later reevaluated his mistakes and put his faith in God’s plan, he said.
In 2014, he was elected to the House of Representatives and worked toward change in education, healthcare, economic development, workforce development, environment, consumer protection, criminal justice and civil liberties. This lead to him teaching at numerous universities such as Lesley University and Endicott College.
“It is the most fulfilling and why not teach the next generation of future leaders,” he said.
He now enjoys more time with his wife Lissete.
Estevez would encourage all Barry students to become civically engaged, as he was.
“Good people no longer speak up, we’re disrespectful to others, and most people are famous for all the wrong reasons,” he said. “This only happens when corruption, polarization, and socioeconomic difference lead us astray.”