With a combination of filmmaking, faith, and leadership skills, Albaner Eugene, Jr is determined to be a voice for a generation.
Eugene is a 2018 Montclair State University alumnus who has grown his platform as a multi-talented spiritual leader. Eugene moved around North Jersey often as a child but settled down for high school in Union, New Jersey.
He currently works a variety of jobs: he is the founder and president of the non-profit organization Let’s Move Inc., a minister at Love of Jesus Family Church in Orange, New Jersey, a counselor and a filmmaker for his production company, Ace Productions.
Eugene never envisioned himself attending a big college like Montclair State but grew to love it.
“Montclair [State became] like a second home,” Eugene said.
He entered Montclair State as a business administration major before making the switch to psychology.
“I knew that deep down, I had a love for people and for understanding people, why they do what they do, why we think the way we think,” Eugene said.
Eugene expressed immense gratitude for the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program and staff. Although he was not a part of the EOF program, they still supported him.
“All the EOF staff really did such a great job with helping students that were from the inner city or couldn’t necessarily afford college,” Eugene said. “They helped their transition into college be a lot easier.”
In his senior year, he was awarded the EOF Advocacy Award for his work as a videographer and photographer for the program and for consistently championing their message.
“I joined together with them to help their vision come to life,” Eugene said.
Daniel Jean, assistant provost for special programs, met Eugene when he was a member of the EOF Male Leadership Academy.
“[Eugene] was an amazing photographer and videographer and has captured some of the most pivotal moments of our program with his lens,” Jean said.
After attending the “What’s the Word” show at NJPAC last year, Jean was delighted to witness Eugene’s powerful words.
“I was moved and left the event feeling refreshed and renewed. [Eugene] has many gifts and it is great to see him scale his impact,” Jean said.
His time at Montclair State is where Eugene first discovered his potential as a public speaker and leader.
“Becoming a voice and an influence on that campus was special and defined my whole time at Montclair [State],” Eugene said. “It was essentially me walking into my calling. I just had not known that that was my calling.”
Eugene’s mentor, Reggie Walker, director of the Educational Opportunity Program at Rider University, also met him at the EOF Male Leadership Academy. Walker described Eugene as a powerful presence and influence on the program.
“He genuinely cared about the wellbeing of his peers and went above and beyond to be a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen,” Walker said. “[Eugene] is one of those students who went from student to friend to family. [Eugene] is heaven sent and I thank God that our paths crossed and that he’s in my life.”
Eugene often spoke at events for the Haitian Student Association, Native African Student Organization and other faith-based organizations on campus.
Eugene credits Montclair State as the “launching pad” to his multi-career path and incorporates the skills and lessons learned into his recent work such as his tour called “What’s the Word.” He describes the tour as a “cinematic live panel event,” integrating themes of faith, love, fun and the arts.
The tour features guest panelists and a live Q and A to create a more intimate connection with the audience. This is the third tour, and Eugene and his team are traveling to Texas, Georgia, California and New York.
Eugene emphasized his connection with God as being one of the most important things in his life.
“In growing my relationship with God, it helped me get to know myself more, which led me to get back to the drawing board of wanting to be able to communicate, reach and inspire people with my work, art and films,” Eugene said.
Eugene also aims to inspire and encourage others with his non-profit organization, Let’s Move Inc. The organization is dedicated to uplifting people and motivating progress.
As the president, Eugene often oversees his staff, delegates tasks and creates digital content. Eugene founded the organization in 2018.
“Everything’s starting to run like a well-oiled machine,” Eugene said.
Eugene hopes to be able to guide people into strengthening their relationship with God and the people around them. He encourages people to be mindful rather than spending time worrying.
“We could spend that time just being present and making some meaningful memories with the people we really value,” Eugene said.