Modern Founding Father

Written by Andy Johnson, (Mu Zeta, ’17)

“Let’s do something about it. I’m here to get things done,” noted Jake Steel (NYU, ‘19).

Jake Steel is committed to his community. While the stereotypical college student might be destroying his liver or his idealistic views of the future, Steel is working for a better world. The NYU junior puts everything he has into bettering himself and those around him; it has been his inescapable passion since adolescence.

In high school, Steel joined BBYO, the national Jewish youth organization that enriches the lives of Jewish teenagers and fosters lasting connections within the Jewish community. He flourished as a member in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, and eventually switched chapters to help breathe life back into a now important chapter. Steel pointed out, “The work I’m doing for Sigma Alpha Mu right now isn’t all that different. It’s about shaping our identity and recruiting people to join our community.

While he was serving as a staff member at the BBYO national conference in 2016, a few men from a different fraternity approached Steel. Their conversation inspired Steel to assemble his organization of like-minded men with values similar to those of BBYO. He founded the NYU Sammy interest group in fall 2017.

The guys that chatted with Steel at BBYO’s conference are likely kicking themselves for not recruiting a first-round draft talent when they had the chance. The Sigma Alpha Mu interest group that Steel constructed has gone from one man’s vision to a community of 30 brothers. With colony status on the horizon, and a potential charter to follow shortly after, Jake Steel and the Sammies at NYU might be on their way to summiting the Big Apple. “There’s so much we can do here in New York, and we are taking full advantage of it right now.”