LCC student Joel Welch sees good in all
LCC student Joel Welch said he enjoys the atmosphere at the college. Photo by Mallory Stiles
By Mallory Stiles
Did you know that when people perform music curbside, it’s called busking?
According to Wikipedia, the term was first noted in the English language around the middle of the 1860s in Great Britain, and comes from the Spanish root word “buscar,” meaning “to seek.”
LCC student Joel Welch is definitely a seeker who is constantly striving to make the world a brighter and safer place as a student, friend, brother, son, activist and musician busking on the weekends to make ends meet.
Welch, 24, is a Michigan native with Scottish and Irish lineage who said he would be a tiger if he could. He prefers dark blue, like the deepest part of the ocean, because he says it holds the deepest feelings of the Earth.
He is currently undecided between sociology and psychology as his major, insistent that no matter what he does he just wants to continue his journey helping people and making music for an upcoming album.
He is currently taking four classes for a total of 12 credits. He is enrolled in Sociology, Math, Rock Band and Health and Wellness. He maintain he needs the music, hates the math, but digs LCC.
“Here, because there are less students, it seems like you can get to know everyone a bit more,” Welch said. “You could do four years at MSU and not meet everybody, but at LCC you have a chance to have a conversation.”
Welch has volunteered for organizations like Reproductive Freedom for All, New Voters Project and Women’s Center of Greater Lansing, using his experience as one of 10 children to see the world a bit differently.
“Everybody in existence is part of one big family and we need to take our differences and make something better because of them, not kill each other,” Welch said.
Though he clearly has his mind set on his future, he said he has learned a lot over the years. He values the knowledge but will continue to blaze a new trail and keep working toward his associate degree at LCC.
“We moved around about every two years since I could remember; my parents flip houses,” he said. “I helped my whole life. I know how to build a house from the ground up, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that is what I want to do with my life. I would rather focus on human rights and mental health.”
They say that tragedy makes the best people. In Welch’s case it is tragically very true.
“At the end of 2019, my brother ended his life and that had a huge impact on all of us,” Welch said. “Of course, everyone blames themselves for it, but I felt like I particularly had done something wrong because, when I was younger, I struggled a lot with depression but I didn’t notice it him.
“The fact that I didn’t see that and catch it and try to do something about it … I would say that is a big contributor to me pushing myself as hard as I do and going into mental health.”
Even though Welch continues to grieve as he fights forward, he also has a lot of love in his life and has friends who think the world of him, like Harrison Williams.
“He is so massively caring, sometimes he forgets to help himself trying to help others,” Williams said. “I got hypothermia on campus last semester after everyone left and I missed the bus. He came and got me around midnight. He is like a brother to me.”
Welch makes an impact with every day he is given and continues to only see the good in his fellow humans.
“If someone just tries to be better, that’s all we can do,” Welch said. “Sometimes we make mistakes but I would like to think that everybody is good; just not everyone knows how to be. We can strive to be better.”