What I love about Hope College is the all-encompassing experience and the many opportunities to grow as a person. I not only received an excellent education, but also a chance to develop my character, push my limits, strengthen my faith, travel around the world, create lasting and meaningful friendships, interact with administrative staff and faculty and gain valuable job skills.
My areas of study have given me a global perspective in life and an increasing passion for international work. I have been blessed with so many opportunities to go beyond the familiar and embrace fully the beauty and creativity of the world. I am most thankful for the chance I had to study abroad for a year in France, where I was able to step out of my comfort zone and experience a new lifestyle, culture, and worldview. It tested me culturally and academically, but also spiritually: I grew stronger both as a person and in my faith. I also had the opportunity to travel again on a spring break immersion trip to Miami, Florida, where we immersed ourselves in a neighborhood called Little Haiti. We were surrounded by Haitian languages, history, culture, and artwork while we learned about and engaged in community development. The point of that trip was more to learn than to do, in order that we might better serve later.
That is what Hope has done for me: allowed me to learn about myself and the world, and then prepared me actually to go out and be a part of it. I give back to Hope because I know the experiences students have here will forever impact and change their lives, encouraging them to go above and beyond. I give back to Hope not only as a huge thank you, but also to continue giving these opportunities to future students.