Week 6 – Lessons in Leadership – Kristi Birk-Steinberg

Kristi shared with the class her unique path to service and leadership and how she has connected to her passions over time. What are ways you can connect to your passions while in college, recognizing opportunities and plans may look differently for you over time?


  • Jenna Karp

    I think it’s important to acknowledge that everything good happens over time, and to accept that stepping into your role in life is a process. Kristi confirmed this by sharing the variety of different jobs she held, ranging from janitor to teacher. She expressed that no matter what circumstance or career you’re in, keep seeking learning opportunities and implement those experiences into your next job. This will supply you with more tools and allow you to contribute more to the table with each role. It’s supper important to build your time around your passions, and I think college is a good place to assist with getting connected. Whether it’s through the student organizations on campus or with the outside community, there’s plenty of opportunities to get involved in and get experience with your passions. Kristi exemplified this by mentioning that there were 21,000 plus non-profit organizations, and if you spend a little time looking, there are organizations that line up with your personal motivations and values.

  • Katherine Ryerson

    Kristi’s unique path to leadership and service was not like many of the other speakers we have had recently. I enjoyed hearing how she overcame many obstacles, and continues to hurdle many today, while still challenging herself as a leader and a community member. I believe one of the reasons she has become so successful is because she figured out a way to serve while staying connected to what she’s passionate about. In college, I hope I can connect with my passions the same way Kristi does, while getting service hours. It is important that I seek opportunities that spark my interest, so I stay invested in the mission of that service. When my mind and heart are working for common good, I have no doubt I will find success. I believe this is how Kristi was able to find her path to nonprofit.

  • Jordan Montelongo

    I believe being passionate about something means you truly enjoy what you are doing and creating change within an area you feel strongly about. Ms. Birk-Steinberg shared her journey with the class and explained how each experience impacted her life for the better. Although there will be successes during my path, there will also be challenges I must overcome. Once those challenges are overcome, I can reflect and learn from them and translate it into something beneficial for the organization and the people around me. There are so many opportunities within the UCO and Edmond community I am excited to explore, which will take time and courage to make that positive impact. Surrounding myself with other passionate leaders who share a common goal will only motivate me to work even harder for the things I truly care about. Those opportunities will arrive in a matter of time, but for now I will continue to learn more about myself and the things I am passionate about through the experiences I encounter on a daily basis.

  • Kyrah Raasch

    Kristi’s path to finding out what she was passionate about took a little time. Although she was somewhat happy about being a teacher, she did not like working with little kids, therefore she changed jobs and found one she loves. I also question myself frequently on if there are things that I could possibly be passionate about that I just have not found yet. One way that I can speed up the process of finding something I am most passionate about is by getting involve. Trying different and new things may open my eyes to a whole new section of my life. I am going to start trying new experiences and see if I can find my true passion.

  • There are many ways that you can find what you are passionate about in college. The most direct way is to join clubs or talk to club officials to find out if it is something that you are interested in. There are many clubs on campus so talking to the members and finding out what it is all about is one of the best ways to get to know your interests and find your passion. Another good way is to talk to your peers and listen when they are talking about what they are passionate about to see if it is something you would like too.

  • Emily Patrick

    I am lucky. I found my passion when I am young, I have a love for caring for people. My mother has been a nurse for 25 years, and the stories that she told me inspired me to become a CNA. I was able to find that passion while working at a hospital in the panhandle. Out there I get to work with old farmers and their wives, and 9 times out of 10 they have an amazing story about their lives. I found that passion of caring for people when I cared for my first patient, he was from a home where he was neglected and was not fed; when he came to the hospital, he could stop saying about how he was so happy now. His story will always remind me of why I got into the medical field and why I need to stay in it. The opportunities in the field are of a wide variety now a days, and my plans for life may be set in my mind, but with these times those can change in an instant.

  • Whisper McDoulett

    I personally jump between areas of interest and types of groups abundantly. I appreciated Kristi’s insight on how those situations, though good or bad, shaped her to become a better leader. During my time spent here on campus, I would like to better understand what I have a heart for and how to utilize that in a career. I would hate to get to a career field and find that I have no drive to make an impact in that area. I strive to be more open to ideas that may not be my first choice. Giving it that one shot could change my perspective or rule it out, which isn’t bad either. I have had times where I was hesitant to attend an event because I prejudged the situation and the people. These same events have brought me great community and windows of possibility. I will never have the same opportunities in the future that I have today. As these opportunities continually adapt, I want to take advantage of them as much as possible.

  • Amaya Coleman

    I think a way to find your passions in college is joining clubs and being involved on campus. Even just trying clubs you don’t see yourself joining but just trying it. We can recognize opportunities by joining exec boards and higher up positions just to get your name out there. UCO has so many organizations and opportunities that we shouldn’t pass up.

  • Alondra Rios

    How I believe that I could connect to my passions during college is talking to people that are connected to what I want to become in the future and not being afraid to be involved. For example, for me being able to apply for the sheriff position. Getting to know if being a police officer is what I really want to do. I really have to begin to test the waters. Also, I have to seek right now if I want to change my major to physiologic but in order to do that, I really want to try new things. I have to realize that opportunities aren’t going to come to me I have to stand up and make that move to learn.

  • Matelyn Jones

    The organization I joined is Bronchos Robotics club, and that allows me to pour my passion of creating into this organization. I have always loved to build, and it was an organization I haven’t thought twice about joining. I have always been a person that uses school as a way to use my passion. I also want to make a difference, and being apart of Leadership Central gives me an abundant amount of service opportunities. There is so many opportunities that I am excited to participate in, and that is the best way I know to connect to my passions while in college.

  • Hana Abdelhadi

    In order to connect with one’s passion, one needs to reach out and find a community that shares the same interests. This way, many opportunities will arise that one can simply show up to in order to receive the benefits. Kristi made an important point when she said to find motivation, whether that be intrinsic or extrinsic. It takes time to build success and not all paths are linear, sometimes one has to move backward or dip their feet into a field that they would never have dreamed of. Kristi also stated that one needs to ask themselves what they enjoy and how they hope to engage in order to make a meaningful change. For me personally, I am still trying to figure out what my passions are and what I enjoy doing most. I try to indulge in many different areas on campus in order to hopefully find a place that resonates with me. Freshman year is all about new experiences and learning more about yourself. To sum it up, engaging with the people around you and truly enjoying the time spent with people is a huge first step to finding and fulfilling passions.

  • I really enjoyed hearing from Kristi this week. I feel that her path to leadership was really unique, but also relatable to a lot of us. With some speakers, it feels like they already knew their exact style of leadership/how they wanted to implement it for their entire lives, and it’s relieving to know that you can still be successful without knowing all the answers.

    I feel that one way to connect with your passions is to give everything a shot. You never know if you’ll be interested in something without trying! Also, don’t let your fears about not being good at something hold you back. Nobody is really good at something new on the first try. Take opportunities as they are presented to you (within reason). It’s also a good way to find out what doesn’t work so you can better apply your strengths elsewhere.

  • Marcus Evans

    There are many ways I can connect with my passions here at UCO. My biggest passion is sports. I am involved with intermurals this semester and I am really loving being part of a team with new people here on campus. I think there will be opportunities to serve and lead in intermurals, as well as other sport-related events on campus. I will try to recognize when opportunities become available for me to serve and lead, and I know that there will be new opportunities for new passions as time goes forward.

  • Jentri Jordan

    Everybody has their own unique journey to find their passion. I liked listening to Kristis path to leadership, because she wasn’t afraid to admit that it took her some time to find her true passions. Kristi talked alot about having to go from job to job to find what she enjoyed doing. I feel like this is very similar to what college students have to do to find their passion. If you don’t go into college with a specific thing you are passionate about it could be hard to find something. I think the best thing to do is to try out as many clubs and organizations as possible. Even if it takes a while to find what suits you best, you will still be gaining important knowledge about your likes and dislikes. If you don’t give everything a chance you won’t know what suits you the best. I think Kristi relay emphasized that no matter how good or bad your situation is, it is important to follow your heart. Even if it takes some time it is important to not settle for something you are not passionate about. There are many different opportunities to find your passion, you just have to take the time to find what you enjoy.

  • Ella Strader

    Listening to Kristi share her struggles and how she overcame them helped me see some of the things in my life differently. What obstacles I face do not define me or my potential to do great things with my life in the future. I know what my passions are and I plan on starting things during my time at UCO. I want to make a difference on campus and in my community.

    I can connect with my passions by finding a community of people that have similar passions and ideas on how to engage with them.

  • Jessica Caballero

    My particular case is different in my current college experience. I recently came back to college to complete a degree that is different than when I left college. I didn’t have a passion when I went to college the first time. I found my passion in my career as a nail tech and massage therapist. After 10 years of doing the thing I love and made good money, I realized that even though I love what I do I still have a ceiling that I have hit and I find myself wanting to do more with my life. I want to burst the ceiling cap. I have hit the capacity of my skills and I need to find a new passion. 10 years of doing the thing I love and now having to switch gears and find what I want now in my 30s is scary and exciting all at the same time. The same doubts I had as a 20 year old is still with me but now I have more life under my belt and experience. I know that with a college degree I can do more and find a passion with a career that is fulfilling. Kristi telling her story made me feel like having more experience is never a bad thing. The more experience you have the more ammo you have for life and its demands. You will be more prepared.

  • Jerzi Hawkins

    I believe Kristi’s path to leadership and service while unconventional, is pretty common for most. Throughout life, you have different life experiences that will sometimes lead to our passions and the things we want to spend our time on changing, and that is okay! We have to be able to recognize that and be okay with the shift. Right now, I believe college is the best place to start connecting with your passions. This first semester is a great time to be able to sample and experiment with all the different places and ways you can connect. After this first semester, I believe we will all have a better idea about what we want to spend our time and energy on. I believe that we can start getting those opportunities by being present, willing, and confident. You are never going to be offered an opportunity if you aren’t there, and you are never going to know if you actually enjoy it if you do not go in confident. When you start honing in on your passions, you can start spending more of your time there by doing things like holding positions in those places.

  • Emilee J Handy

    I think that you have to understand yourself, before understanding what you are passionate about. People grow and change, which is why their passions change through time. I think one way to connect to my passions while i’m in college, was first understanding who I am. I have adhd, so my passions and hobbies change frequently. For me, this means that if I put myself all into something, I will get tired of it, or feel like it becomes more of a job. So, knowing this, I have learned that being involved in more than one thing, and not spending so much time focusing on one specific passion, then I can keep the feeling of enjoyment with the things i love such as art, I have always been a creative kid, and used it as an outlet for stress. By finding different mediums in art, and setting aside breaks from doing art, I have been able to enjoy it through junior high, to high school, and on to college.

  • Teagan Jellison

    In college I am connecting to my passions by majoring in them. I chose to pursue a degree in Musical Theater in college because it is one of the things in life that I am truly passionate about. I am very grateful to understand and know what my passions are already. I understand that career paths change, and I may end up somewhere that I didn’t plan. Taking this into account I am still going to put 100% of my effort into my passions in college. Because, if I do get where I want to be, I know I put in the hard work to get there. I think it is very important to embrace your passions while they are there. Even though they may change, you cannot be scared of change. You have to embrace the now and worry about the future when it presents itself.

  • Emma Cunningham

    In order to make sure you stay true to what you are passionate about, you have to be aware of what you enjoy doing. Kristi was able to do this through trying out different professions and learning what she was passionate about through practical experiences. Though it is a bit early to explore my interests through a career, I have been able to discover that I am interested in Finance through my disdain for wealth inequality. College is a great place to explore what you are interested because there is low stakes and there are extremely diverse options to look into. I have been getting involved in clubs on campus that not only interest me but that I think have a good impact on the UCO community.

  • Isabel Baker

    Currently all my classes are required for my major and are not exactly geared towards my career goals. While I may not be enjoying these classes, I recognize that they are helping me learn skills that I may use someday. One way I stay connected to my passion, is by joining clubs and organizations that I find interesting. For example, I have been to 3 meetings of the Film Club here on campus and it is one of the biggest highlights of my week. To be able to discuss with people who have the same passions and dreams is truly helping me through my difficult classes. I also try to keep my mind open to new career ideas and plans, as many opportunities will come in go throughout college. Overall, I cannot wait for what the future holds and am so excited for the rest of my college career.

  • Kathryn Plunkett

    I think that I can connect to my passions by trying new things here at college. I would say I know what I am passionate about now, but I am not certain that I know what I will be passionate about in the years to come. This realization will come with experience and time. I think that if I give a few things a try, this will help me narrow down what I for sure want to dedicate my time to. I think it is more important to give your all to one or a few things, instead of being involved in thousands of things and not being able to give that thing the best version of yourself. I also will take advantage of connections I have made and really listen to the mentors in my life to help guide me.

  • Isidro Fonseca

    Kristi’s story of success was unique and something I noticed is that she is, indeed, very passionate about what she does. I personally think that exploring multiple clubs and organizations can definitely help you find your passion while in college. Another way that you can connect to your passions is by being open to new opportunities and getting out of your comfort zone. I think that’s important because I have heard from peers that they used to be very timid and now they hold executive board positions in multiple organizations and they are very passionate of what they do. Hearing my peer stories has motivated me to get out of my comfort zone and attempt to connect to my passions.

  • Jessica Jones

    Mrs. Birk-Steinberg certainly emphasized passion as a theme in her lecture, and more specifically, its importance in both the realms of life and philanthropy. In this respect, she most notably conveyed that one can find their passion in their experiences, build on it through trusting relationships with mentors in the field, and experiment with different things until something feels right, even if that means changing careers frequently or stepping out of one’s comfort zone. These steps to success have already been extremely effective in my own life. For instance, I chose English as my major because it is something that I have always loved and excelled at, however, through networking with various individuals, like professors and more experienced students, my passions and areas of interest are expanding to places like philosophy, gender studies, and creative writing, despite the short time that I have been at UCO. Through my previous experiences I understand that I also have a passion for art and creation, and I want to apply these various passions and find more mentors in the field through related clubs or programs and taking a minor in one of my areas of interest. Finding and connecting to one’s interests in a place so large and diverse seems easy, but in truth I know that it is a process of great trial and error. Reiterating the last and possibly most critical lesson of the lecture, it is great to try new things, but it is even better to find your exit if need be in order to align your actions with your passions.

  • Jimmy Davison

    I can use my unique talents to connect people by planning certain events based on those talents. For example because I am good at making puzzles and riddles, I would be good at making a team bonding event that was something like a big scavenger hunt.

  • Harrison Higdon

    I believe finding time to connect to your passions in college, but also outside of school, is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself in maintaining a happy and successful life. During our tenure in college, we will have so many opportunities to find new passions, or rediscover old ones. There are so many niches of groups you can find online, on campus, in the classroom, or even in the comfort of your living hall and around your buddies. You will have so many resources at your disposal that will make finding these passions easier. Any of these resources can help you find your calling and also open the door for new friendships with others that have similar interest as you. My biggest passion recently in the past year has been movies/film making. I am so interested in the craft behind making movies and the extremely difficult process it is. Ways I have been able to find time for my passion of movies is going to Showbiz Cinemas, and watching a new release movie, or even an old film. Something about going to the movie theatre and being able to escape to an immersive world is so much fun for. The little things like going to the movies for two hours bring such joy to me, and because of that I find myself to be a more happy person. Taking time out of your day to do something that you enjoy is so important to your mental health. The little day to day small victories you are able to have our essential for you to be the best version of yourself.

  • Cheyanne Young

    I enjoyed listening to Kristi talk about her journey to finding her passion. I think in order for me to find my passion I am going to have to put myself out there and experience different types of things. I know part of my passion is helping others, I just don’t in what way I want my help to be implemented. Getting out and getting involved in different types of humanitarian work can help me pin point exactly what I am passionate about. I know that the journey finding my passion won’t be easy but it will be worth it in the end.

  • Finding something you are passionate about is sometimes hard because the world is teeming with opportunities and experiences, all unique and fascinating. Yet, finding just the one that gives you a spark of ignition to your drive to keep moving forward is the most rewarding feeling. It is when your eyes brighten up when a certain word or event catches your attention. It is when you reach that point of epiphany when it brings a smile upon your face without you noticing. Truthfully, drawing is one of the things I’m passionate about and not only that, I pondered long and hard for a while now about why is it that I want to be in the dentistry field. I think it has to do with my exposure to Korean dramas because there was a feeling of exhilaration every time an actor or actress expresses different forms of smiles whether it be a sad tranquil gentle smile or a smile filled with excitement, it is the smiles that stood out to me. Needless to say, I am going to make sure I don’t miss any opportunities and experiences I face along the way and that is starting with joining a club and trying new things like self learning a language or invest in studying how animation works as a hobby or saving up to travel to find that one passion that fuels and ignite my fire even further.

  • Alexander Rackley

    One of the ways i have connected with my passions is by helping restart the Chess and Games Club in UCO. This is because one of my deepest passions is dnd, and the creation of it. So, realizing that that was something i love, i pursued it with a stern determination. Now that i’m here, i plan to use my passion to drive the club to greatness, and make sure i leave a lasting legacy that continues even after i have long left these halls. Because, to quote Hamilton, “Legacy is planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

  • Tori Hoffman

    While in college, our primary function is to go to class, get decent grades, and graduate with a degree that is for a specific field. The next step is either getting a job or a more specialized degree in a graduate school setting. What we don’t think about or maybe don’t think is important is the organizations that we join or the service that we provide. I am currently a criminal justice and forensic science major that has a passion for law enforcement. Recently, I have started to waiver and want to do something that might be better fitting for me. I have looked at the possibility of going into higher education.

    When I was in highschool I was a part of many organizations that allowed me to put on programs, so when I got to UCO I decided to be a part of SPB. I was able to program just about anything and it was amazing. Last semester I became an RA and began to fall in love with housing. I have continued to grow into student engagement and housing and now am looking at a future within housing or student engagement.

  • Miranda McLean

    I am so glad that we were able to listen to Mrs. Birk-Steinburg’s adventurous path through leadership, and that we were able to acknowledge that that path isn’t always straight. Kristi talked about how even though she loved her previous positions of leadership — such as teaching — it took her a little bit of time to find the leadership position that she truly adores. She helped show us that it’s okay to explore and find what we are truly interested in, wether it is one thing or multiple things.

    I was able to connect with Kristi about our shared love of helping those of all abilities. She was able to put together athletic events for those in wheelchairs, and you could tell that it is something she is truly passionate about. She connected her love of helping others with her love of fitness. She helped me see that there are multiple ways to connect our passions to help lead others with the same dreams.

    Throughout my college journey, I want to work on being open to new experiences and connect new passions with old ones. With great thanks to Mrs. Birk-Steinburg, I now understand that in order to be a great leader, it is important to be adventurous and to not let my fears of twists and turns in my path hold me back from accepting new and exciting opportunities.

  • Miranda McLean

    I am so glad that we were able to hear from Mrs. Birk-Steinburg about her adventurous path to leadership, and she showed us how that path isn’t always straight.

    As someone who has had multiple interest in their life, I have always struggled to understand what I truly wanted to do. Until recently, I was never able to connect one passion to another to find what I love. Similar to Kristi, I love working with those of all-abilities. I have been very fortunate to have been able to connect my love of musical theatre to my love with working with kids with special needs over the past couple of years. Like Mrs. Birk-Steinburg explained, my leadership skills grew after making connections in my passions, and it made me love what I was doing.

    Throughout my college journey, I plan to explore new experiences and be open to different opportunities. I want to be able to acknowledge the twist and turns that my appear along my path and use them to my advantage.

  • Tanner Trevino

    I think the biggest way to connect to your passions in life but college especially is to simply get involved and do things. You wont be able to discover what drives you or what you want to live your life for if you don’t go out and try things. You have to get outside of your comfort zone if you want to explore the opportunities presented to you throughout your college years. You also have to know not everything will happen quick, very much how Kristi said it took her time to get where she is now. Opportunities and plans change with time just as you do and it’s best to always be aware of that, become as “adaptable” (my groups name) as possible. If you already feel passionate about something like like clothes or fashion for example you can try to connect that to other activities that can help others (no matter how many you help) like helping clothe the homeless, you have to get outside of your comfort zone and try new things to further your passion(s) and to expand your leadership in my opinion. Little steps go a long way.

  • Jayson Raj

    Kristi spoke about her experiences, both good and bad, and how they affected her passion and drive in her work and leadership roles. Just like Kristi, my path to discovering something that I’m passionate about is taking a bit of time. I, even now, don’t know what I am undividedly passionate about and what I want to devote my time to. However, college gives me an environment to find various clubs and organization that aligns with my interest or experiences. By joining these clubs, you aren’t tethered to these clubs for a specific time. Just like Kristi, you can try different roles and opportunities and judge how you feel about them. I have tried various things in the past, thinking that I would love, but ended up losing interest later. There have also been times where I hesitated to join a club or go to an event because of my prejudgment over it, but after going, I had a great time and met some great people and connections. Just by going to events or different club meetings, I can grow my passion by involving myself more with topics that may be new to me.

  • Jackson Lehew

    While being in college, I believe the best ways to connect your passions is to try new things and get involved. If you are testing everything out, there is a very high chance you find something you love to do. Me personally I got involved with homecoming and I am in the process of joining a fraternity. So far, I have enjoyed everything I have done on campus. Kristi is a great example on how you do not have to figure out your life path right now, she tried out lots of different things and now she does something she is very passionate about. If there is one piece of advice I will always give to a younger student coming into college is that the best way to have fun in college is to get involved.

  • David Harlin

    Some people are able to connect with their passions easily because they have clear set goals and know exactly what they want to do and become. For most of though it is long journey that often starts in college and lasts far beyond. The process that Kristi went through is not a bad one. She took a job out of college and soon found that she did not like it, so she tried something else. She bounced around through several jobs learning and building a resume through each one. With each new opportunity she was able to narrow down her passions and begin to connect with them more and more. As she stated in her speech she is still unsure what she wants to be when she grows up, but as her journey continues she will begin to draw closer to whatever it is that she is passionate about.

  • Ashley Jimenez

    Well one way I have connected my passion and recognize while in college is PLC. They have gave us countless of opportunities to participate/volunteer in something we are interested in. Other organizations have helped me find my passion such as HASA because they help me be proud of who I am.

    Helping others is a passion I have always had. Since I am no good in chemistry and no interest of being a doctor, I became a massage therapist. My clients always thank me for making their pain hurt a little less. Nonetheless, I enjoy being a massage therapist. I know that if my plans do not go the way I want them to, I can always fall back on massage therapy.

  • Christina Bejoy

    I believe Kristi’s greatest strength was having an “all in” attitude in all phases of her life. She did everything to the best of her abilities and tried a wide variety of things before she focused on one thing. I think UCO offers me a wide variety of opportunities and in order to find my passion, I need to take advantage of these opportunities. For example, I can do an abroad program for a semester to learn different skills, make connections as well as serve people in a different community than my own. Even if I don’t feel passionate about this project after doing it, it is a good way to get involved as well as get closer to finding one’s passion. I also am a strong believer than one does not find their passion by waiting for it, rather the more we do the closer we are to finding our passions. In UCO I can join various organization, volunteer in different places and work in different sectors to figure out my passions. Ultimately, dedicating my time to a cause near and dear to my heart that serves the people around me.

  • Lani Hensley

    Kristi is a perfect example of figuring out yourself takes time. When I was younger, around the age of nine, I had to care for my younger brother. This grew my passion for children and for caring for people. One way that I can connect to my passions while in college is by keeping myself knowledgeable of volunteer opportunities that encompass my passion. Moreover, utilizing resources, much like Kristi, can help you find opportunities to partake in. When change happens you must adapt and realize that everything happens for a reason and that there is a purpose for you. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

  • Meralyn Staudt

    I think that for me personally, one of the best ways to connect to my passions is to allow myself to freely pursue things that interest me! Change is something that can be pretty difficult for me as it takes me a while to adjust, but keeping an open mind to opportunities for something new is really important. I won’t always be in an environment that is as controlled as this one and may not always have as large of a support group, so taking advantage of these assets is a way to broaden my horizons and learn what I want my role to be. My interests and passions might change over time, which is why being openminded and believing that I can be successful and do meaningful work wherever I am is so important.

  • Jayden Batcheller

    One thing that really resonated with me from Kristi was how she kept her passion through her hardships. She spoke about how she had lost herself to things like drugs and alcohol, even though she was doing bad things, she never became a bad person. That gives me a lot of hope for my future because I feel like when I do bad things it makes me a bad person, which it does not. Ways I can connect to my passions are to know that whatever it may be that I am doing, I do it with a purpose. Joining clubs, organizations, and other things will help me find what I am passionate about, however, it may take me some time to find everything I am passionate about. Good thing time is all I have.

  • Roy Angele Kubwimana

    Kristi’s story is very inspiring. The way she tried many careers before she can find what she really enjoys doing. To me I do not think I have enough time to figure out what I am passionate about while I am still in college. because this is my last semester. However my passion has been changing through years. Currently my passion is to become a software developer so that in the future I can help small businesses in third world countries.

  • Claire Hardin

    One way I have already connected my passions in college is through the UCO Pom team and Broncho Catholic. Dance and Catholicism play huge roles in my life, so I knew I needed to find ways to incorporate them into my college life. I do not know how long I will have the privilege of being on UCO Pom. Therefore, I am thankful for Broncho Catholic because they have provided community, belonging, and love through the most important aspect of my life: my faith.

    I have met some wonderful people who have already supported me through difficulties, but I want to find more ways to be that person for others. In the future, I can see myself participating in something involving Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Big Event. I truly have a passion for helping others, so I think these organizations would be great to be a part of.

    Within the past six weeks, life has become really busy, and I have had to admit that I am not mentally ready to take on everything right now. However, I know that with spiritual growth and maturity, I will have the tools to fight stress and anxiety in the future. My hope is that personal growth will lead to deeper involvement within my campus.

  • Jessica Lopez

    Kristi’s path to success was truly inspiring and made me realize that despite the hard times, you have a chance to succeed. A good way to connect with my passions is definitely volunteering in areas of interests. Going out and finding organizations that suit me and my beliefs and knowing I can help is definitely an early start to connect/find new passions while in college. Any opportunity I can get to succeed, I will definitely take because from that one small opportunity, may lead to life changing success.

  • Harper Pitts

    Kristi’s retelling of her life’s many different paths truly showcases that change, weather good or bad, is inevitable. With that being said, the change is what you make of it, which is what I think I took away most from Kristi’s stories. Although the preferred way to spend life is to spend time on what your passionate about, stick with it, and then retire, Kristi proves that taking steps further to find changed passions can also lead to a successful path.

  • mariam Ourani

    Hearing about Kristis journey throughout leadership and service was super heart warming and comforting. It was nice to be reminded that people can go through a lot of obstacles and still overcome it even though it may be hard too. However, in the end it’s gonna pay off and you’re gonna gain a lot from it, including knowledge. It also gave me a reminder to find leadership and service in things that will keep you excited, and things that you find interest in. Volunteering and being a leader comes easier when you’re doing something that you know deep down is a cause you actually care for. I hope throughout my journey in college and becoming a better leader I’m able to branch out and find more organizations and opportunity events that I’m passionate about, because I know that it’s going to benefit me and those around me in several ways.

  • KelseySanchez

    I believe being involved with school activities and clubs will be the most helpful way to connect with your passion in college. Meeting new people can open up conversations about different career paths and that is a way to find a connection with your passion. I also think it is important to talk to people in your career field and ask questions about what they do and what a day in their career looks like. That can help decide if that job is your passion. I wanted to go to dental school but the more I talked to my neighbor about his career, I was more interested. He is a probation officer and his stories about helping others truly inspired me. Overall, I believe talking to people about their careers and people with the same major can help connect with your passion. Going clubs will also help find your passion.

  • Kelsey Sanchez

    I believe being involved with school activities and clubs will be the most helpful way to connect with your passion in college. Meeting new people can open up conversations about different career paths and that is a way to find a connection with your passion. I also think it is important to talk to people in your career field and ask questions about what they do and what a day in their career looks like. That can help decide if that job is your passion. I wanted to go to dental school but the more I talked to my neighbor about his career, I was more interested. He is a probation officer and his stories about helping others truly inspired me. Overall, I believe talking to people about their careers and people with the same major can help connect with your passion.

  • Adrian Smith

    I have many things I feel passionate about. So it’s hard for me to pinpoint opportunities I could’ve had. But recently with the start of college, I have been able to connect with so many people. One of the easiest ways I’ve done so is by finding campus groups, and events that relate to my interests. Whether it be through what books I’m reading, what videogames I play, or my favorite artist at the moment there is a group o0n campus that caters to everyone. Even if there is no group for your passion someone can simply make their own. My passions will change way too often, but that allows me to gain new knowledge and experience that I can use to understand new people I meet, and I will let that continue to push me into helping others try new things along with me.

  • Kaylee Bjorkley

    Kristi was an amazing speaker for me. I felt that I am in the same position as she is. The amount of times that she was unsure about what she wanted to do in her life, but was still able to find her ” do what you love and call it work” reassured me that I am not the only one. All my life I have been told what jobs make money and what jobs will leave me needing more. I’m a nursing major, however I don’t think that is what I am passionate about. I loved working as a CNA and I love the medical field. It’s all that I know that I do love right now, but something is missing and I’m not so entirely sure what that is. However, in college you have one of the biggest communities with information about anything and everything their is to do in life. With 4 years time to figure out what you are passionate about, and what you are not so passionate about. With Kristi’s story I felt relatable to and am hoping I can figure out my “Why” and what I am passionate about in my time here at UCO.

  • Jazlyn Yarbrough

    A few ways to Connect my passion to university life is to simply pursue my passion. if I am passionate about animals I need to go and join an organization about animals, if I’m passionate about dance,which I am, I will pursue dance. overtime and through each and everything that I do on this campus it will allow me to see what I like and what I dislike and eventually mold me into the person I will be. With Kristi story I really enjoyed how she acknowledge that she was not your perfect student, oh I didn’t maintain just one job every thing led to another which molded her into the person that she is which is a very good person who is philanthropic And does what she truly loves to do.

  • Casey Merrill

    My Major changed several times before I landed on the one that I am currently working towards which is nursing. I am still not sure on what it is that I want to do and have been struggling with the answer. Kristi’s story of her journey in her finding her way made me realize that the things I do now will shape me into who I want to be in the Future. The challenges faced in college if pushed through will help me become a better leader. If i keep taking the opportunities that are given to me they can help me in the future.

  • Chance Palmer

    My Passions are Acting, Singing, and Politics. Currently I am a Vocal Performance Major but I am hoping to be a Musical Theatre Major. Now I understand getting accepted into Musical Theatre isn’t an easy task. I plan on taking dance lessons this school year and I am already working with my voice teacher to make sure I’m singing to my fullest. I am also taking an acting class to better improve my performance skills. I hope that with all of these things im trying to improve upon I will be lucky enough to be accepted. However if I do not get accepted then my direction will become Political Science. I love discussion and debate over issues and I like the idea of finding Common Ground and compromise. I want to help create good change I’m the world and I believe I have the passion to do it. I am very respectful of others thoughts and ideas and I do my best to try and build off of them that way We can each have a hand in making the lives of those we represent better and happier. I try my best to put myself in others shoes and try to understand where they are coming from. Context is very important when it comes time for me to make decisions. I am very happy that UCO has a nice Political Science Dept. so even if Musical Theatre doesn’t work out, I will take it as a sign to dive into the political world I very much enjoy.

  • Olivia Shults

    I think the best way to start connecting to your passions is getting involved with things that line up with what you are passionate about. It Is very hard to find opportunities that line up with you passion if you are not getting involved. Getting involved while in college, especially as a freshman, is so important because it helps you discover what you are passionate about and can help you find opportunities to help you in your future. Getting involved, while sometimes can take a lot of courage is the best way to connect to your passion and help build a better future.

  • Gaby Ramirez

    During Kristi’s speech she discussed her various occupations throughout her life. She explains how in some of those situations there were points where she wasn’t content with what she was doing. Kristi understood that these were simply obstacles she had to overcome. She took every occupation as an opportunity to learn, and expand her experience to further prepare her for future occupations. This is something I want to implement into my career, I hope to be able to expand my skills until I find something I’m passionate about to apply those skills to. I plan to reflect on my negative experiences and just move onto the next opportunity. By expanding my knowledge through these different occupations I will become a person with more to offer for whatever I decide to apply myself to.

  • Alexis Aguinaga

    I admire Kristi and see myself in her. She did not let her mental health get in the way and let it hinder her in any way. She used her passions to lead her to the career she has know. She uses all of her many talents to relate to every job she has ever had. I also have many passions and it’s confused me on how that is beneficial. She has a huge resume and it helps her excel and that inspires me. I am also apart of the cheer team and ROTC and both clubs have helped become who I am and be passionate about leadership.

  • Zain Whitlock

    I enjoyed hearing from Kristi and her experiences. I appreciate the discussion on finding your passion and how it can lead to other things. I think my passion while in college is finding ways to give back. I have joined several organizations where the focus is on volunteer service. I am looking for ways I can give more and find other ways to serve. I am excited to participate in UCOLA as a facilitator this year and think it will be an organization I will be active in throughout my college years. I want to continue to find out what is available for me on campus and know that in doing so I will find ways to get more involved. I love the outdoors and camping so I am looking for ways to get more involved there also.

  • Ricky Harris

    It was great hearing about Ms. Kristis journey throughout leadership and service was super heart warming and comforting. enjoyed hearing from Kristi and her experiences. I appreciate the discussion on finding your passion and how it can lead to other things. I think my passion while in college is finding ways to give back to families during their time of bereavement. I have joined several organizations where the focus is on volunteer services and I also serve families at my family funeral home.