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Albaner C. Eugene, Jr. ’18 Empowered to Serve

With nearly 290,000 Instagram followers and more than 25,000 YouTube subscribers, Albaner C. Eugene, Jr. ’18 is on the rise as an influencer with a mission to help youth move forward in every aspect of their lives.

Posted in: Alumni News and Events, Alumni Profiles

Albaner C. Eugene, Jr. ’18

In his days as a recent high school graduate and film school hopeful, Albaner C. Eugene, Jr. ’18 hadn’t yet learned that he was destined to serve others, or that he would become a force for shifting culture to one of personal accountability and growth. But as sometimes happens, life set him on course to a future as a sought-after speaker, influencer, and inspiration to others.

“I wanted to go to film school in Chicago, but my mom kept encouraging me to get a well-rounded education first, as a way to build a solid foundation for pursuing my creative dream,” he says. “As it turns out, this was some of the best advice I have ever received.”

While a freshman at a small college in Pennsylvania, Albaner started researching colleges and decided he wanted to be closer to his New Jersey home. A chance meeting with a Montclair alumnus – Michael Spence ’14 – got him thinking about Montclair. “Mike was building a career as a motivational speaker, and he had so many good things to say about the University,” he recalls. “I was nervous about applying, though. I was so happy when I was accepted!”

Albaner enrolled as a business administration major with a marketing concentration, but something wasn’t quite right. “I love marketing, but it seemed like everyone around me was enjoying their major way more than I was,” he says.

When he switched his major to psychology, things clicked. “I loved developing my ability to understand people,” he says.

Albaner dove into campus life, using his skill as a videographer to become involved in a variety of activities, including the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) program. “I wasn’t a part of the program, but the faculty and staff welcomed me with open arms, and I got to partner with them to help bring their vision to life by filming their events,” he says. “I loved the program and what it was doing for students. I attended a lot of the events the program offered and supported them in whatever way I could.”

In 2018, the program recognized Albaner with that year’s EOF Advocacy Award. Dating back to 2015, Albaner had begun creating and posting videos targeted to young people, urging them to take responsibility for themselves and their futures. As his audience began to grow, word got out on campus and soon a host of student organizations were inviting him to give presentations at their events.

Albaner’s ability to connect with young people was being further honed at his church, where he was a youth ministry leader.

“I never saw myself as a public speaker, but here I was being asked to talk to groups of students at Montclair and building out a series of workshops for church youth groups,” he says. “Between events, young people were coming up to me looking for guidance. It birthed a huge responsibility on me to show up more for students at Montclair.”

After graduating from Montclair, he pursued a master’s degree in counseling at Pillar University, and an internship with a counseling practice. He completed the program and earned his counseling certification in 2021. He became an ordained minister as well, and founded a nonprofit organization, Let’s Move, with a mission to help people make progress in their lives.

While Albaner enjoyed one-to-one counseling, he found the workshop and group counseling formats to be especially rewarding. So did his clients – and as a result, demand for his sessions skyrocketed. He knew he needed to think creatively, and to find a way to make his services as accessible as possible.

“Because of the high demand I had to shut down my counseling career and think about what to do next,” he says. “My roots are in my faith, and I also have a professional mission to help people. I needed to find a way to allow people to get more access to my professional services while I am serving my local church and the community.”

By this time, Albaner’s YouTube channel had grown to more than 25,000 subscribers, with some of his videos viewed more than 40,000 times. Nearly 290,000 follow his messaging on Instagram. In January, Albaner will launch Momentum, a full-service app that will provide a range of videos, exercises, notifications, reminders, and other resources to scale up access to the “Momentum” experience. Plans include live events and workshops as well.

Albaner has more appreciation than ever for his mother’s advice to earn a degree, and for his choice to do so at Montclair. “Montclair changed my life,” he says. “If I had gone to film school only, I never would have had the ability to become a voice in my generation. My psychology degree enables me to serve the community in a profound way.”

“Even when it came to changing my major, which is very challenging process, the EOF faculty and staff at Montclair supported me,” Albaner continues. “I am forever grateful.” His life lessons shape his advice for others: “Learn to be okay with change. More often than not, people change course. Some of the best things happen in life when things don’t go according to plan.”

Whenever possible, Albaner returns to campus to help with events. “I try to be available, especially for the EOF program,” he says. “Montclair is a whole new world for students, and I love to see their eyes open to all of the possibilities. But it can also be overwhelming. I try to emphasize to all students that time management and prioritization can help them succeed in college.”

“I also love the reunions,” he adds with a smile. “There is pride in being a Red Hawk!”