Huntington Halls’ new Resident Director, Victor Akioyame, thrives off of spending one on one time with students, even in the midst of a busy semester.
“Having students come by my office, and going and getting coffee with them [has] been the best part of my job so far,” Akioyame said.
Akioyame transferred from California Baptist Universtity to Vanguard this year, and is currently working on obtaining his Master of Divinity, in addition to being Huntington’s RD and an ordained pastor. Akioyame thoroughly enjoys the way his time at Vanguard has allowed him to lead and minister to young men the way he was ministered to while he was in college.
“The RD [position] lends itself to mentoring young guys…I’ve grown [in] the discipleship process through having mentors throughout my entire Christian walk, and I want to be a piece of that, hopefully, to a lot of guys,” Akioyame said.
Prior to working at Vanguard, Akioyame was employed at Cal Baptist as an RA. At Vanguard, he has found a close-knit community in both the Residence Life staff and the student population that he really appreciates, though it is different from his experience at CBU.
From what he has observed, Akioyame considers Vanguard to be a place where anyone can be friends with anyone, and where people enjoy spending time with each other on a regular basis.
“People want to hang out with other people, people are always in other people’s [rooms], people are planning bonfires and beach trips and things like that. People are even going to Disneyland together,” Akioyame said.
One of his greatest desires, however, is to find anyone that may not feel included in the Vanguard community and help them to get involved.
“I want to challenge my RA’s to reach the people that are…outsiders. Every college has those students that…isolate themselves. I think bringing them into the group instead of pushing them further away from it would be a win,” Akioyame said.
Akioyame is well aware of the influence resident staff can have on a student, because of his own personal experience with his RA and RD at CBU. Akioyame’s first semester at CBU was initially a real challenge. So much so that he actually considered driving back home his first weekend there. It was his RA, who became one of his best friends, that helped him through it.
“He was already my friend, but as my RA he was willing to give me grace, and walk with me every step,” Akioyame said.
When Akioyame first became an RA, his Resident Director, who was actually six-months younger than him, impacted him strongly by both treating him like a man and constantly asking for his input. Akioyame always appreciated the way his RD would tell him if he was being prideful, and in that way helped him to be a better man.
While he knows that he cannot influence every single one of his students personally, Akioyame hopes to impact each of their lives on some level, and to help them grow in their relationship with the Lord.
“It’s not [always] going to come through me specifically. There is one of me, and there is 150-something guys, but hopefully in my interactions with people, people will see that I love the lord…that I am glorifying him, and that it makes [them] want to ask me about it,” Akioyame said.