My EKU Story- Rebecca Gillem

I am the youngest of three siblings, all of which have graduated from EKU.  My sister belongs to the class of ’89.  My brother graduated in ’93 while I brought up the rear and received my diploma in ’08.  I made the decision to attend EKU because of my siblings and because of the familiarity it presented.  Richmond is almost the same size as my hometown Ashland, and because I was greatly intimidated by larger schools in far-away cities, I found myself drawn to Eastern and its surroundings.

I never could have imagined my Eastern story to unfold the way it did but I am very blessed to call the story mine.  Once my dad drove away and I was truly by myself, I was nervous and unsure of where the next few years would take me.  Making friends at EKU turned out to be pretty easy and I immediately fit in down at the Baptist Student Union (now the Baptist Campus Ministries or BCM).  In that building and among that dynamic group of people, I cultivated my faith and sense of self that first year.

My leadership role began as a member of the leadership council during my Sophomore year.  Taking ownership of projects and having responsibilities really helped me come alive and opened up a confidence I had never seen before. I was fortunate enough to serve as President of the BCM for my last two years as a Colonel.  We tried to incorporate new strategies and participate in events on campus differently.  I enjoyed playing a role in decision making and helping others realize different parts about themselves.

I was inspired when I traveled to Costa Rica and Guatemala during my tenure.  I saw completely different worlds and felt a tugging on my heart to try and fix the world to the best of my abilities.  Because of my newly uncovered confidence and strengths, I felt like I was capable to produce change.  After seeing people’s lives change because of small things I was doing, I decided to pursue a career in non-profit work.  Because of Eastern, I was challenged to step outside of my comfort zones.

Every day I am thankful for the opportunity to see what I have seen.  My heart was so inspired and had I not gone to Eastern and had the chance to serve in a leadership role, I doubt I would have the same experiences to shape my life.  I hope that the students attending and planning to attend Eastern realize that they are holding keys to their future, it just takes courage to use them!

Rebecca Gillem

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Categories: The Team

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