Gift of Hope scholar Caroline Billings hails from a family of 13 siblings. Her mother teaches English as a foreign language and her father is a high school science teacher.
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, Caroline focused on music and gymnastics. Through her music she had the opportunity to travel to different countries to participate in competitions.
She and her 13 siblings have been acive in their local congregation, First United Methodist Church in Glen Ellyn, IL. "I remember memorizing Bible passages for Sunday school, playing my viola during servies with my brothers and turning cartwheels up and down the hallways during confirmation class."
Caroline also had a lot of support from her church family. "[They] supported me through all my decisions and all of my phases of life. My confirmation class, youth group activities, and mission trips did such an amazing job and keeping me grounded as I was growing up."
Growing up at First United Methodist Church helped instill in Caroline the knowledge and tools for a meaningful life. "The lessons and values that my upbringing instilled in me definitely carry through to my intended career path."
Caroline has chosen to use this knowledge and help take care of God's creature. Thanks to your gifts on United Methodist Student Day Sunday she will be pursuing a degree in Veterinary Sciences. "I aspire to be a Vet that is talented but more importantly fair, level headed and generous."
Her father was instrumental in encouraging her to apply for the Gift of Hope Scholarship distributed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
With the help of the Student Day scholarship, Caroline was able to attend 4 years of undergraduate studies at University of Findlay. When asked if the church should continue their support of United Methodist Student Day, Caroline didn't hesitate. "The church should support Student Day offering to continue making the meaningful impact that they do upon the lives of young adults." Caroline reemphasizes that just as college is fun it also is an extremely stressful and trying time in the life of young people.
Thanks to the training she received at University of Findlay, Caroline was able to secure a seat at the University of TN College of Veterinary Medicine. "This is quite literally the training and education that I have been striving towards for my entire educational career," says Caroline.
Caroline knows that she can only rely on her faith in God to get her through Veterinary School. "I will keep my faith with me as I ether practice medicine or as I research and develop new products to improve the lives of animals and people worldwide."
Caroline is making a difference in her community by sharing her knowledge and training with friends and family who come to her for help with their own personal pets. In everything that she does she offers the highest quality of work in order to serve her community. "My goal on a daily basis is to always leave something a little bit better, or a person just a little bit happier than I first found them."
Upon graduation, Caroline's future plans are to work in as a doctor in a shelter or for the U.S. Government. In either role she will contribute her skills she has learned coupled with her faith to make God's creation better off than before. "By working for the U.S. Government I would be able to impact an incredible amount of people and protect the American people form potential outbreaks of diseases."
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.