TJ Hardeman ’18 grew up in the Philippines amidst a multitude of Westmont alumni. A graduate of Faith Academy, he followed family tradition and enrolled at Westmont. “I heard such great things about the college from my grandparents and my father,” he says. “It seemed like the best fit for me.”
Recruited to play basketball, TJ sat out his freshman year to extend his eligibility. The combination of athletic and academic scholarships helped him choose Westmont. When he first practiced with the team, he realized he had a lot to learn about American slang expressions for basketball, just one example of the challenges he faced as an international student on campus.
In the Philippines, TJ attended schools with diverse communities. Students came from a variety of countries, but few had lived in the United States. He misses that fusion of cultures.
“My friends and I all thought differently, and I was used to hearing different perspectives,” he says. His parents both teach at international schools and coach athletic teams.
TJ majors in kinesiology and intends to establish his own athletic training facility in the Philippines. He wants to return home after he graduates and build a life with his family and best friends. “Sports offer a huge gateway to ministry,” he says. “Through training, I can influence people’s lives. Filipinos love basketball, and the sport is big there.” In recent years, he has participated in sports-based ministry trips and outreach programs during the summer months.
To help pay for college, TJ works on campus, assisting the college mechanic and calling alumni and friends for the Phonathon. But it’s financial aid that helps him stay at Westmont.
Your gifts to the Westmont Fund give scholars like TJ the opportunity to make a positive impact in our world for God’s Kingdom. Go to www.westmont.edu/giving to donate and meet other students.
THE WESTMONT FUND: EXPANDING THE MINISTRY OF WESTMONT