Stories of Impact

For This Freshman Scholarship Recipient, Spring Break Means Mission Work

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"I feel more grounded here, and I feel my faith has been strengthened because of the people I've met."—Meredith

Escaping the unpredictable Kansas City weather is often a priority for Rockhurst University students. But instead of spending spring break at a typical college retreat, freshman Meredith Larson chose a much different locale. She and nine of her fellow RU students traveled to the Dominican Republic on a university-sponsored mission trip. And her commitment to service reached a new level.

"We helped at a lot of clinics. We took blood pressure and gave out vitamins and other nutrients. There was one girl who was 2 years old and weighed only 19 pounds," Meredith says. "We also helped at a children's nutrition center in a town called Palo Seco. This center housed 10 children who were malnourished. We would take care of these kids day and night and help feed them."

Meredith's interest in helping others began early in high school and carried over to college. A double major in elementary education and nonprofit leadership studies, Meredith is passionate about making an impact on the world. She knows her Rockhurst education will help make her dreams possible.

"I am so lucky to be able to go to Rockhurst. A lot of my friends went to state schools, so when I go home and talk about Rockhurst and how much I love it, I remind myself how lucky I am to go here. And knowing that someone made that possible, it's just a miracle. I feel very blessed."

Meredith, a native of Omaha, Neb., already feels very much at home on the RU campus. She is involved in several Rockhurst University organizations, including Alpha Phi Omega and Christian Life Communities. And even though she's been on campus for a short time, Meredith says she feels a connection unlike any she has had before.

"I feel more grounded here, and I feel my faith has been strengthened because of the people I've met. I'm not afraid to be religious and show my beliefs," she says. "I just love the people, the teachers, how small the community here is. I love walking to class and half the people I pass on the sidewalks are friends of mine."

Meredith is a recipient of the Kyner Memorial Scholarship, established in 1970 by the estate of Dr. Thomas A. Kyner. She plans to return to missionary work again next year, followed by a career in the nonprofit world. She knows the generosity of others is helping to make her academic vision become a reality.

"None of this would be possible without the donors and the scholarships. I still remember when I moved in to Rockhurst, and I feel like I have grown so much since then. And I thank the donors for that because it would not have been possible without them."

To learn how you can support RU and committed students like Meredith, please contact Paula Moss at 816-501-4418 or Paula.moss@rockhurst.edu.

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