When Jarius Page was in high school in Raleigh, he applied to five colleges, including Saint Augustine’s University, although going to college was not common in his family. He did not expect to get accepted into any college.
After high school he was working at KFC and decided to join the military. “I was on my way to the recruiting office when I received a phone call from Saint Augustine’s University asking me if I wanted to continue my education.” Page recalls. “I said yes and asked them what are the next steps in the enrollment process.”
In 2010, Page enrolled at Saint Augustine’s University, and he proved to himself – and others – that he could handle college. During his freshman year, he worked a full-time job and maintained a 3.0 grade point average. In his sophomore year, he became a Residential Assistant and a student leader on campus. In his junior and senior year, he worked as an intern for the North Carolina General Assembly and for non-partisan political organizations.
Jarius Page is now an enrollment specialist here at Saint Augustine’s University. When he calls students to persuade them to attend Saint Augustine’s University, he uses his own story as an example of how someone can succeed here despite any obstacles in their background.
“As an enrollment specialist, I recruit prospective students on the daily basis,” Page explained. “…Saint Augustine’s is a school of opportunity. I tell my prospective students that you can be successful if you’re dedicated and utilize the resources around you.”
Maintaining enrollment is crucial for Saint Augustine’s if the university is going to survive, and the university has been able to keep the numbers up despite facing challenges such as competition and being on probation. The number of new students enrolling at Saint Augustine’s University has almost doubled in the past two years, rising from 211 in 2015 to 435 in 2017.
That is not happening by accident. Julius Page is one of the people on the front lines, making sure Saint Augustine’s enrollment remains at levels that keep the university on sound financial footing.
Page is one of the “foot soldiers” in SAU’s recruiting efforts, said Christopher Withers, director of admissions for the university. “We all provide a different aspect…The thing about Mr. Page is that, number one, he just graduated from the college and that is something tangible that students can see and feel. Number two, he really cares about students and cares about providing customer service. This is more than just a job for him.”
Page says his experience as a student at SAU definitely helps him with his job. “Every time I recruit, I can tell students how awesome my university is,” he said. “I tell them my experience as an alum and what made me choose Saint Augustine’s University.”
But he doesn’t only use his own experiences. “I also tell them the history of the school as being the first HBCU to have a commercial radio and television station on campus, and the significance of the Saint Agnes Hospital. I tell them about the majors and programs that we offer as a university.”
Page admits his job is not easy, but he said it is not as hard as it may seem. “My job is challenging depending on different circumstances,” he said. “I had to learn how to work with people and different personalities. I had to learn how to adjust to decisions and changes that occur on a daily basis. I believe at some point we all want to give up and throw in the towel. We all have days where we don’t want to be bothered, but in a career and in the workplace, you must set aside your differences and get the job done, not because you have to, but because staff and most importantly students depend on you. “
But Page does not try to manage on his own power. “I put God first in everything I do,” he said. “I am guided by biblical principles. I operate in the fruits of the spirit,” he said, referring to Galatians 5, which states: “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. “How I manage is by staying humble and making sure that I maintain who I am. I make sure I treat everyone with respect despite different circumstances or social differences.”
Ultimately, Page’s goal is to have more students follow in his footsteps and succeed even if they think the odds are against them. But he stresses that they have faith and enroll in college. One of his favorite quotes is: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”