Congratulations to alumnus Richard Larkin McLay, ’13 on being named the inaugura…

Congratulations to alumnus Richard Larkin McLay, ’13 on being named the inaugural “Johnnie of the Week” by the Men’s Development Institute at St. John’s University!

Richard’s work setting up a non-profit foundation to provide long-term relief aid on Vanuatu is a great example of the wise care of God’s creation.

The Johnnie of the Week Initiative aims to bring awareness to certain individuals who uphold the standards of being a Johnnie, while bringing a positive change and striving for a better campus community. MDI’s first Johnnie of the Week is Richard Larkin McLay.

Richard is a junior political science major, economics minor. He is involved in chamber choir, Johnnie Blend, is a senator in the St. John’s Senate and a photographer for Institutional Advancement and Sports Media.

Beyond campus activities, Richard has started his own non-profit organization called the Peggy Larkin Foundation, named after his grandmother. The organization aims to provide the island of Vanuatu, where his grandmother lived for many years, with long term relief aid. After the island was struck by Cyclone Pam last spring, Richard talked with many of the locals and got in touch with organizations already helping the area to find out where care was missing.

“Our premise is to collect things and bring them out there for what the people need because that’s the kind of stuff my grandmother did,” Richard said. “It was pretty obvious that we would name the organization after my grandmother.”

Starting January 28, Richard will spend two weeks before his study abroad term begins with his mother, reconnecting with the community his grandmother lived in and trying to establish ways for the small island to get the aid they need. Richard plans on bringing eye glasses, kids’ soccer shoes and water filtration systems for the community.

“Everybody truly wants a legacy saying they made a difference and if that means making the biggest difference or even the smallest I think that’s all I can really ask for.”

Click here to nominate an outstanding Johnnie of the week: