Bruce McMullen initially came to the United States from South Africa to play college golf and to pursue higher education at Harding University. After being selected as Student Government President at Harding, he attended ASLF in 2011, kick starting and opening a new door of personal faith and leadership development.
The ASLF was an “a-ha” moment, complementing his desire to explore the teachings and principles of Jesus. “The event helped me swallow my pride, appreciate serving others, and ask difficult questions of myself and about what it means to be a leader. The event also initiated a journey of self-actualization and choosing to live a life of authentic and intentional relationships.”
This manifested itself in a few ways both at Harding and since his graduation. His last year at Harding he started a men’s freshman mentoring group called “Garage Guys,” which has continued and is now in its fourth year. He also started a men’s retreat program, with a friend he met through ASLF, called “Time To Man Up,” which brought high school and college students together.
After graduating in 2013, Bruce briefly went home to South Africa in the summer, where he was selected as one of the top 100 Brightest Young Minds in the country.
That fall, he returned to Washington, D.C, where he served as an intern with the National Student Leadership Forum and National Prayer Breakfast.
Bruce described this experience as an intensive year of personal and relational development focused on leadership, conflict resolution and communication through looking at the life of Jesus.
One of his takeaways from the internship in D.C can be summarized as follows: “There are two things we will deal with our whole life: money and relationships. Only one of them will make you rich.” He says that at our core, we have a deep desire to be known, loved and part of intentional community.
Leaving the internship in D.C., Bruce moved to Huntsville, Alabama, to further his education again with an MBA. Upon graduating in December 2015, he endeavors to become a Certified Financial Planner and join a local investment firm.
Encapsulating what started at Harding, ASLF, and his time in D.C, Bruce says he has developed a passion to initiate authentic community wherever he is. Huntsville was a tough transition, and out of the pain of feeling isolated he initiated two community platforms.
First, he and a group of friends recently spawned a monthly event called “twentysomething” to connect and grow the community of young professionals in Huntsville.
Second, as part of his MBA, he developed a program and curriculum called “Embark Alabama,” integrating intergenerational leaders across the state through faith and values. He plans to launch Embark in 2016. Bruce continues to work with the National Student Leadership Forum and National Prayer Breakfast, bringing the teachings of Jesus to students, families and leaders both locally and internationally.