Scholar wants to transform the world

Blessed by a loving family, Kimberly Laumann considers herself fortunate. With her parents, still married, and an older sister who is her best friend, Kimberly could not have asked for more. On top of that, once a year, her family gathered with extended family members and traveled together to enjoy wonderful fellowship.

Growing up, Kimberly was very involved in her local congregation, Hope United Methodist Church in Greenwood Village, Colorado. From tap dancing to singing in the choir, Kimberly explored many activities. But that all stopped once she made it to high school. "I enjoyed the diversity of activities I was involved in," Kimberly said, "but when I hit high school, I struggled with my identity. I didn't know where I fit because I had so many passions."

With the help of her church family and ministries at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, Kimberly found a space for herself. "Being so involved in mission work and various activities in my church has inspired me to go into ministry so I can serve and grow disciples," she said.

Since Kimberly grew up in The United Methodist Church, she was very familiar with the Gift of Hope Scholarship, which the United Methodist Student Day offering funds. "When I started to look for scholarships," Kimberly said, "I talked to my youth pastor and applied."

Kimberly believes the church should support United Methodist Student Day "because youth and young adults are the future of the church. School is not cheap," she said, "but is an important investment in people's future."

While attending Fort Lewis College, Kimberly's teachers and peers encouraged her to follow her dreams wherever they may take her. Kimberly did not want to choose a career solely based on money. She has decided to pursue a career in ministry as an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church.

Kimberly's most memorable experience was participating in a European tour with the college choir. "I traveled to Northern Italy, Austria and Germany," she recalled, "performing in some of the most well-known cathedrals such as St. Mark's Basilica and the Pantheon, where the acoustics were breathtaking. I enjoyed being surrounded in the different cultures and experiencing chills from the music in the cathedrals."

This year Kimberly is raising funds for the choir to travel on the next international tour. Her European experience made such an impact on her that now she wants to give others the same opportunity. She still has time to be the president of the college ministry, tutor, participate in a band, present sermons and more. She is currently an intern at the Durango United Methodist Church, where she works with middle and high school youth groups. 

By making a difference in the world, Kimberly is determine to spread Jesus' love to everyone she meets. The little things that we can do, she contends, can make a big difference in the life of a lonely person. "Small actions overflowing with love are how this world will be changed to a kinder place."

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.