What drew you to the extracurricular organizations that you are involved with in University?
I’m involved with a lot on campus, all for various reasons:
- h2o Church: I’ve grown up in the church and this is a very central focus of my life. I have great hope in my faith in Jesus and it has sustained my through the many health trials I’ve been given in life. I was drawn to h2o for its accepting community and bonds in faith. This summer I’ve participated in an eight week leadership training program to not only gain good leadership skills, but also to grow in our relationship with God and within community.
- Sorority: I didn’t necessarily set out to join Greek life when starting school, but I was interested in trying virtually anything and wanted to discover Greek life apart from the stereotypes and negative media portrayal. I participated in formal recruitment winter 2016 and joined Alpha Omicron Pi, an international social sorority. I found in it a group of girls who I wanted to be with and who had selected me to join their organization, as well as leadership potential within our chapter. I currently serve as the Membership Selection Chair and Songleader and have enjoyed working with other people and committees to get the job done.
- Choir: I’ve nearly always been involved in choir and love to sing. Singing also has the side benefit of improving lung function, which due to my prognosis to develop pulmonary fibrosis, is never a bad thing. I joined the mixed gender University Chorus spring of my freshman year and realized the joy of having an artistic outlet again. This autumn, I’ve joined the female group Women’s Glee Club, and am excited to get a different choral feel.
- Honorary: I joined the engineering honorary Kappa Theta Epsilon this past spring for the networking and pre-professional training they offer.
- Activist Organizations: Outside of campus, I’ve done some work with various organizations, including the National Organization of Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH), American Council of the Blind (ACB), the Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome (HPS) Network, and more recently, the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to stay involved on different aspects of my condition. With NOAH, I wrote for their quarterly magazine, Albinism InSight, from 2012-15 and have attended their conventions. I’ve been on the ACB Students Convention Planning Committee for two years and have attended their conventions also. In high school, I had a fundraiser for the HPS Network and continue to attend their conventions where I sing with four other HPS women to raise awareness for our condition. I recently started getting involved with a Columbus chapter of the NFB and am interested in the advocacy work they do. All the aforementioned with the exception of the HPS Network have provided me scholarships to pursue higher education, which I am incredibly grateful for, and have thus stayed involved to learn and as a way to pay forward.