Meet Dana! We served together on a leadership team two years ago, and have been friends ever since. Dana spent the majority of last year living aboard in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua, studying and working.
During his time there Dana learned a ton about Central American culture, and he now hopes to be able to move back to work in one of the countries he loves so much this coming Fall.
I’m confident that whether or not Dana ends up in Central America or not, he will do incredible things :) I’m stoked to see where he ends up and how his gifts are used!
Graduating senior Brooke Grissom has been incredibly involved during her time at Whitworth. Though her time at Whitworth began with a strong dedication to her running career, God has other plans in mind, and after battling a longstanding injury, Grissom turned her passion for health and activity toward her unique combination of studies.
Kinesiology and art may not sound like they go hand in hand, but Brooke has found a way to connect the study of movement, and the body’s mechanics, and her artistic eye, focusing on dance and interior design. Brooke is fascinated with the use of space and the physical and psychological affect that space can have on a person’s wellness.
Although she has not decided exactly how this unique interest will be best put to use after graduation, Brooke will be leaving behind a beautiful legacy of leadership in both her fields of study. Her involvement in multiple internships including physical therapy, church engagement, and community art lead me to believe that my dear friend will be doing big things for whatever community she lands in.
I’m lucky to know such a driven, kind, intelligent & lovely woman!
Whitworth senior Danny Parker will be graduating in a few weeks with an area of concentration completely unique from the degree anyone else in his class will be receiving. After realizing that he didn’t have the time, and the school didn’t have the all the courses available for him to be able to earn a degree that would mesh all his interests, he made the decision to create a major all his own.
Working alongside advisors who helped him make the degree official, Danny officially will graduate with a degree in Digital Rhetoric and Visual Storytelling, which combines requirements largely from the English, Communication, and Digital Arts (focusing on film) departments.
With an intriguing set of credentials such as these, Danny was recently sought out by a brand new Spokane tech start-up, who has invited him to spearhead their marketing department to help get their feet off the ground. Danny has yet to commit to the company, as he is waiting to hear back from other jobs as well, but he knows that the future is bright and full of opportunity.
My dear friend Lauren Davies, a recent Whitworth graduate, is currently in her second year of work in the city of San Jose, Costa Rica. Lauren fell in love with the country and the community of people there during her sophomore year at Whitworth’s former southern campus After graduating, Lauren moved to Costa Rica as one of the campuses graduate assistants. Part of her job while the campus was still up and running was to teach english courses to members of the small community of San Rafael, where the campus is located. Since the school’s decision to close the campus, Lauren has continued her work in the community teaching english at a bilingual school in the heart of the city of San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital. While she isn’t sure exactly how long her Costa Rican experience will be, Lauren is thriving for the moment putting her degrees in Communication and Spanish to beautiful use, immersing herself in a community much different than the one we find behind the Pinecone Curtain, and living in a way where she is both teaching and learning from the incredible people she meets along the way.
Rebecca Markley, a recent Whitworth alum who studied psychology, is currently on in the high desert wilderness of Utah with a group of young students. She is working with Second Nature, a therapeutic wilderness program with individual treatment plans focusing on the health of the whole person. For the next year, Rebecca will be spending time with adolescents and adults who need a little boost of encouragement and a hard week in the desert to get the focused and on the right track again.
Her one week on, one week off shifts require strength (of all kinds), patience and grace that not many people are cut out for. I’ve always been amazed by my incredible friend and her heart for others, her healing words, and her strength in hard times.
I’m thankful for Rebecca and her desire to take what she learned during her time at Whitworth, and take her talent and heart to serve others!
I am surrounded by the most talented people!
Last year around Christmas time, a small group of my closest friends and I came together in a tiny dive bar in Spokane to support of two of the dearest and most talented individuals we know. I took the picture shown above during the concert, to remember one of the first official shows that Phil Moore (left) and Grant Cole (right), who play together as Cold Mountain Yeti, played for the public.
Little did any of us know, it would be barely more than a year later before the two would begin the process of professionally recording their first original album. Moore and Cole met and began creating sweet melodies within hours of meeting each other as freshman year room mates at Whitworth, and since then have played small shows on Whitworth’s campus, played for charity at local grocery stores around Christmas, and recently have begun to make their debut to more established shows in the Spokane community.
This last December, the duo announced the beginning of a 4 month long journey to record their new album, which will feature some old favorites, and a few new songs for us to enjoy. They raised $3,461 toward the project in just over one week, gaining almost 100 project backers who helped the band surpass their original goal of $2,500. The money went toward fees for studio use, equipment, etc., and guaranteed each follower a preorder of the album, among other rewards.
I’m thankful for their friendship, and for the joyful gift that their music is to myself and others, and look forward to seeing what they create!
(And when they’re famous some day I’ll have this picture as proof that I was at their first bar show, & I’ll feel really exclusive and underground and hip and stuff)
Freshman year of college I walked into a room that I’d never seen, at a school that I’d visited once, in a city far from home. I had no idea who would walk through the door on move-in day, and I was scared out of my mind, thinking of all of the roommate horror stories I’d heard from friends.
But then this girl showed up and yelled “WHADUPP ROOMS!?”, towing behind her two frogs, 9 pillows, and more Nutella than I’ve ever seen in my life… and the rest was history.
This is Catherine. (But you’ll never hear me call her anything other than Rooms)
Cat is hands down one of the most abundant examples of divine friendship that I’ve ever experienced. In the 4 years since move-in day, living together has meant so much more than sharing a room. We have lived together, and felt the weight of what life entails together.
We have shared exuberant joy, and deep loss. We have uplifted, held together, and convicted one another. Sometimes we break rules together, and other times we keep each other out of trouble. But always, we do life together.
We haven’t shared a room in over a year, but I always introduce Cat as my roommate, and I always will. Calling someone “roommate” rather than “friend” may sound a little but like a dirty word to those who didn’t hit the housing jackpot like we did, but addressing Cat as anything but Rooms would feel like an insult; because roommate and sister are interchangeable here.
This roommate of mine has shared with me, and showed me, what it feels like to be loved unconditionally by Christ, and what it means to love others like Him. Her gifts, and the beautiful affect they have on the lives around her, stretch far beyond her understanding. She sees, understands, cherishes, and challenges those near her with incredible depth.
(Its annoying actually… you can’t get away with hiding anything,
she sees right through you)
On top of being an all around incredible human being, during her time at Whitworth she has already taken on the nursing program and become a certified fire fighter and EMT, and is currently working with an ambulance company striving towards her official certification as a paramedic.
Cat P. will change this world. Of that I have no doubt.
She sure has changed mine!
Whitworth senior Emily Miller has just received exciting news that she has been accepted into the Young Adult Volunteer program, which stems from the Presbyterian church. Come this Fall (2015) Emily will take part in a journey that will bring her to a small community in need in Columbia. During her time there she will focus on working within her community to address basic needs, and in addition will have the opportunity to be part of a discipleship of sorts, to share with mentors and other YAV participants in their faith journeys.
Although she will be walking into all sorts of unknowns, Emily is facing this adventure head on, and I’m incredibly proud of her, and looking forward to see how God will use her and grow her during her time there!
If you’re interested in supporting her and the other YAV participants, click here!
Claire came to Whitworth Univeristy as a freshman in 2012 with the idea of starting a branch of Eye to Eye, a nonprofit organization focused on pairing college students with ADHD and learning disabilities with younger students struggling with the same learning difficulties.
Throughout her freshman year she spoke with countless individuals hoping to get this program off the ground, but found it difficult to talk with who she really needed to get a hold of, until she was connected with the RISE program at a volunteer fair. As tutoring and mentoring program committed to “Reinforcing the Importance of Support in Education by building relationships through passionate service” RISE believes that all students have potential and a rigorous education can empower and achieve this potential. Many of the students RISE mentors work with don’t have much faith in their ability to succeed. The group believes that by building relationships with these students, RISE mentors can help them realize their potential and strive to achieve more.
Its enough to say that Claire loved the focus of the group, and decided to join, and has since worked her way up to the program coordinator position, and has enjoyed two very successful years partnering with other Whitworth students to make a difference in the lives of kids in the greater community.
“We have 70 and counting mentors for the spring 2015 semester. I continue to be thoroughly impressed with the commitment and compassion Whitworth mentors have for the students RISE works with”, Claire told me last week.
She says her favorite part of working with the RISE program has been experiencing and watching the impact of the relationships between mentors and mentees. She recalls a moment last semester when she received an ecstatic text from a fellow mentor that read, “CLAIRE! SHE CAN MULTIPLY FRACTIONS. MULTIPLY FRACTIONS! BY HERSELF!”
This mentee was a girl that everyone had given up on. She was falling further and further behind in school due to skipping classes and not doing homework. Claire revels in the fact that “Her mentor was able to break through her shell and not only encourage her to do her homework, but helped her actually learn what she didn’t think she could. It was the best”.
What the program is seeking now is even more involvement from students so that the program can continue to grow. Their greatest need right now is for men to get involved so the students can work with a variety of mentors. If you have any questions about becoming a part of the RISE team, contact Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’d love to say hello!
Thanks Claire, for all you do!