Charlotte native Magloire Lubika was just visiting UNCG with his brother, who was interested in applying to the University. He had no idea that he would like the campus so much. That feeling, coupled with the fact that UNCG offered a major in information systems and supply chain management (ISSCM), led Magloire to transfer to UNCG from Catawba College in Spring 2016.
Magloire always knew he wanted to work with computers. “Ever since I was a kid, I loved playing with computers.” The ISSCM major has allowed him to follow his passion for technology, but he has also discovered a passion for service – leading him to create his own nonprofit called “Smell the Roses.”
The organization’s mission is to appreciate human life. “‘Smell the Roses’ is a figure of speech meaning that we need to appreciate what is often ignored. Our goal is to spread love, appreciation, and gratitude among all individuals with our random acts of kindness.”
Magloire’s passion for service came from his father. “He just put his spirit in me to help others. Ever since I was young, I’ve always watched him – the way he carries himself and the charisma he has. He likes helping others. And so watching him, that really influenced me to be like him and also to do things around the community.”
He described his first experience with helping others at age fourteen. His father took him and his three younger siblings to a homeless shelter with brown paper bags, each containing a sandwich, a bag of chips, and a drink. Despite the simplicity of the food, he saw those outside the shelter fighting for it. “And it’s in America,” Lubika said, exasperated. “It’s crazy.”
After that, he never stopped helping others. “I’ve always loved helping people,” he said, “before I started the nonprofit, every time I saw a homeless person…I would go inside and buy them some food, and bring it out to them.”
Helping people casually is how his nonprofit began, but, by networking with organizations like Urban Ministries and companies like Leon’s on Tate Street, as well as by bringing on a board of directors to assist his vision, Magloire’s nonprofit has gained community attention. While this project is his passion, he’s also planning on making it his work after graduation.