Students at Oklahoma Christian University have been handed every opportunity to succeed. During my time as a student, I have been blessed with many chances to serve and grow in leadership, academics, athletics and spirituality. While there are many aspects of college that have contributed to my growth, there are three in particular that have helped shape the young professional I have become: Eagle PR, cross-country, and PRSSA.
When a group of three students and I started Eagle PR in my junior year of college, we had high aspirations for the student agency. Sharing a small space with three other like-minded and outspoken communication majors brought out the best and the worst in all of us. Through case study competitions, professional development workshops, harsh deadlines, and late-night brainstorming sessions, we sharpened our strategic thinking and teamwork skills simultaneously. Eagle PR has since served 12 organizations pro bono, including eight nonprofits and one political candidate. I have been able to foster my talent as a writer and communicator in my position as media relations director. The student agency has helped me find meaning in a future career. It is so rewarding to help someone who cares about the mission of an organization. For example, one of our clients works to spread awareness about mental health. Helping people get access to valuable resources and seeing attendance boosts at the seminars is a great reminder of why I love the career path I have chosen.
Running cross-country has helped me grow spiritually, mentally, and physically. While it’s not a conventional act of service, the sport has made me into a steward. I become stronger physically with every practice, using the talents God has given me. Keeping my heart and body strong allows me to use it to its full potential. Because of my training, I have been able to help move a single mom into her third-floor apartment, play sports with kids who might not otherwise get attention, participate in charity runs, and run side-by-side people encouraging them to better themselves.
Lastly, I have developed leadership skills serving as OC’s Public Relations Student Society of America President. If you told me I would be the president of an organization my freshman year, I would think you were insane. Helping others make meaningful connections and grow professionally is at the core of the position. In 2016, our chapter raised $4,000 to send five people to the national conference in Indianapolis. Additionally, we have organized fundraisers to benefit local nonprofits. Working in a leadership position has helped me realize how eager people are to help students succeed. It also helped me learn hard lessons, such as 20 percent of the people doing 80 percent of the work. I have sought guidance from Christ-minded faculty who not only talk about selfless servitude, but also exemplify it.
Eagle PR, cross-country, and PRSSA have led me to countless acts of service in my time as a college student. Other university activities – debate club, daily chapel, and health club – allow me to serve in additional ways. I am thankful I attend a university of countless opportunities to be a good steward of my time on earth.