There is no shortage of “Passion for Giving Back” when it comes to change agent Xavier Porter (BPS’15, MPA’16).  Xavier is currently a Care Coordinator at Institute for Community Living (ICL) where he assists people with mental illness, homelessness, and substance use to manage their lives.

Xavier Porter (center) with That Suits You founders, PK Kersey and Jamael Thompson

However, that’s not all…on the glamorous side of giving back, Xavier is Public Relations Manager for PK Kersey’s non-profit organization, That Suits You, where he oversees marketing and community engagement. That Suits You provides services for young men and others who are in need of skills to attain employment. For example, they provide interview attire, which is donated by individuals, corporate sponsors and celebrities.

“MCNY gave me a foundation, a clear path and the knowledge, on how to address the needs of the community and how to work more efficiently to get results,” says Xavier Porter and, with a hearty laugh he adds, “Attaining my MPA has opened my heart, mind, and belief that I can accomplish anything in this world. You have to respect me now because I can not only call you out on your __ (you know what) – I can also prove it!”

Prove it he did when Xavier, who got kicked out of high school during his senior year, earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees back to back with stellar grades that landed him in the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Xavier’s father instilled family values. His sense of family is a big part of the driving force behind his positive, can-do attitude and he is passing that down by setting good examples for future Porters.   Xavier has a 15-year-old daughter, Kya, who is the light of his life.  “There is nothing more rewarding and challenging than raising a teenager,” he says about being a single rent.

“Family is everything and having a big heart and a passion to give back is passed down through the generations. My father was an amazing man and my best friend.  I learned about ‘being a man’ early in life.  He had the biggest heart and always made sure that everyone around him was loved and respected.  If I can become half the man that he was, I will be all right!” 

Xavier has far surpassed that halfway point. Recently, his story was featured in the book, Suited for Success, which highlights the journey to success of 24 inspirational men. Among those 24 is also, MCNY MPA Alum and Professor, Larry Scott Blackmon, who was teacher and mentor to Porter. “There is strength in empowerment,” said Porter, “The goal of the book was to spotlight men who have achieved personal success by overcoming barriers and obstacles.  We wanted to show that men could come together and support each other’s successes. As men of color, we already have too many obstacles.  We should never be an obstacle to each other.”

For Xavier Porter, MPA stands for more than Masters in Public Affairs and Administration…it stands for “My Purpose – AMPLIFIED!

The original story can be found HERE, on page 5 of the Summer ’18 MCNY FYE Newsletter!