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A farm girl with big plans

Gift of Hope scholar Emma Kate Kiely grew up on a small farm in Missouri. She and her two younger sisters were involved in many extracurricular activities – 4-H Club, sports and youth group at Clinton (Missouri) United Methodist Church..

"We were always on the go," she recalled.

Emma especially cherished times spent with her entire family.

"Although we were always doing something," she said, "the activities we were involved in as a family helped us stay close and learn how to work together. I couldn't imagine doing half of the things I have done without my family."

Emma received much love and care from her congregation. Perhaps because of this support, Emma decided to become a teacher.

"The United Methodist church in my hometown gave me such a solid, loving, caring and supportive church family," she said. "Many amazing people taught me the values I will need to be successful in life. It's also been great to have a support group that has the same beliefs I have."

Now attending Missouri State University in Springfield, Emma stumbled upon the Gift of Hope scholarship through the United Methodist website.

      Mission trip to Jamaica.

"Receiving this scholarship has been such a blessing," she noted. "It is allowing me to pay for the schooling I need to pursue a job in the education field."

Her most memorable experience was taking mission trips in high school.

"I had the opportunity to go on several mission trips with my youth group," Emma said. "We traveled to Colorado several times, Arkansas, Kansas City and even Jamaica. We made many great memories and met many lifelong friends. I wish everyone had the chance to experience how wonderful mission trips can be."

Emma believes The United Methodist Church should support United Methodist Student Day Sunday because generous gifts help to pay college tuition. "With the cost of college today," she admitted, "sometimes paying for it can be overwhelming.

"I know that everyone who receives a scholarship is beyond grateful. It is so rewarding to know that the United Methodist family supports your decision to attend college."

Emma is gaining the necessary skills she needs to become a successful educator. Thanks to your gifts on United Methodist Student Day, she will inspire her students to love learning!

"I am getting the education I need to make sure my future students are prepared to face the everyday challenges life throws at us," Emma said.

Thanks to loving parents and her church family, Emma will take this love into her classroom.

"I will use my Christian attitude while in my classroom," she said, "teaching my students not only their materials, but also how important it is to love one another, no matter the circumstances."

Emma's dream is to teach in an elementary school in the Kansas City area.

"After I graduate in 2018, I plan to attend graduate school so I am even more prepared to teach," she said. "I hope to inspire each of my students to love school as much as I do."

Lladale Carey, web content producer, United Methodist Communications

One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Student Day calls the church to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. The special offering provides scholarships for qualified United Methodist applicants. 

When you give generously on United Methodist Student Day, you support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. Give now.

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