"The United Methodist Church," said Kirstin King, "has supported my upbringing from Day 1." At her home church – Grand Avenue United Methodist – in Connersville, Indiana, Kirstin's mom was a youth leader, and her dad served as lay leader, eventually becoming pastor of another United Methodist congregation.
"Growing up," Kirstin said, "my life was ideal, with my parents providing so much for my younger brother and me. I was in any sport I desired, eventually narrowing down to volleyball and basketball. My parents allowed me to explore any career and to take as many college courses in high school as I wanted. They were always encouraging me to try anything I found interesting so I didn't miss any opportunity."
|Kirstin King. Courtesy photo.|
Now a Gift of Hope Scholar through offerings on United Methodist Student Day is attending the University of Findlay in Ohio, Kirstin continues her church involvement. "The congregation of both churches I attend regularly – Grand Avenue UMC and Revive campus ministry – are always supportive of what I want to do and experience," she said. "I want to do whatever I set my mind on, and nothing will stop me from achieving that goal."
Your gifts on United Methodist Student Day, enables The United Methodist Church to supports the Gift of Hope Scholarship so that students can prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge.
The scholarship, supported by the United Methodist Student Day offering, was a huge help to Kirstin. "I have a great scholarship through my school," she said, but it doesn't cover everything. "Because of the Gift of Hope Scholarship, I literally only had to pay $5 for my spring 2019 semester. In my book, that is a huge win and a great stress reliever not to worry about debt.
"By supporting students now," she added, "you are investing in them and encouraging them to give back when they are set in their career."
Challenging and rigorous courses help prepare Kirstin for medical school. Receiving spiritual nourishment is important to her as well. Her dream is to work in an emergency room.
"I hope to show that faith is a tool that can help people heal, especially in tragic circumstances," she said. "I also hope to join or start medical missions where medical professionals can help communities, both near and far, and share the good news of God as well."
On campus, Kirstin is involved in Chemistry Club, Pre-Med Club and a few honor societies and serves an orientation leader and tour guide.
Volunteering, both in Findlay and her hometown of 12,000, is essential to Kirstin, who reaches out to 10 or 11 locations a week.
"I devote so much time to volunteering efforts," she explained, "not because it looks good on an application, but to be involved in the community. How else am I supposed to be a well-respected doctor in the community if I am doing nothing within the community? I spend time with people, make connections and assist them in any way I can, and in return I receive an asset in my web of connections.
"I want to lead a life focused on giving back more than I receive," she said. "Being a medical doctor has its perks, but if I don't do anything to help others with these perks, then I am not really succeeding in living like Jesus."
Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer and editor, retired from UMCom
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.