"My whole goal is to strengthen young adults’ confidence to openly discuss sensitive issues."
As an SNHU freshman, Ronek Patel received a potentially devastating diagnosis. But by the time he graduated, he had parlayed his experience and a desire to help others into a business.
After learning at 19 that he was HIV-positive, the Glastonbury, Conn. resident didn’t tell a soul on campus, but what he heard around him eventually prompted him to open up. “When I started to listen to all my peers talk about having unprotected sex, it really scared me,” he says. “After two years of keeping it a secret, I said, ‘You know what? Maybe I can make a difference and open up these students’ eyes by saying you’re not invincible from these kinds of diseases.’”
As a senior, Patel spoke about living with HIV at Dartmouth College and loved the experience. He later expressed interest in a public-speaking career to an SNHU professor, who referred him to a friend with expertise in the field who in turn encouraged Patel’s aspiration.
During his last SNHU semester, Patel launched Enunciate Communications, an enterprise through which he speaks to student audiences. “My whole goal is to strengthen young adults’ confidence to openly discuss sensitive issues,” he says.
Patel earned a psychology degree from SNHU and is grateful for the encouragement he received to pursue his entrepreneurial vision.
“I was really impressed that the school recognized talent,” he says. “It’s a large school, but it’s not so large that they don’t give you the attention you deserve.”