Sunday, August 4, 2013

Because I'm on my way to the Gun Flint Trail in northern, MN and my hotspot is not very good, this will be a rather short post. I just wanted to let you all know that I am alive and well, enjoying my surroundings and loving life. 

So what have I been up to the last couple of months... 

Well.... I graduated from college.... three years later, I am proud to say I'm a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Augustana College! It's been a life changing three years and I am indebted to so many people that have helped shape me into the woman I am today. Thank you to all the professors who have challenged me to deliberate on my beliefs and have taken the time to educate me both inside and outside the classroom. 

I drove to Pine Ridge Reservation to spend the weekend with people from all over the world focusing on human reconciliation and the Lakota culture. Words cannot describe the emotions I felt or the experiences I had. I pray that what I learned facilitates discussion and continues to bless me with relationships forged in solidarity and love.

I also had a very busy week leading up to Miss Minn...

 Firstly, I was so honored and humbled to be named a Tracie Joy McBride Quality of Life Scholarship Finalist along with four other beautiful and accomplished young women. Thank you to everyone that has supported me in promoting my platform and helping me to prepare for this journey. 

Secondly, I was awed by the support by everyone that came out to support me and Tiffany at our send off! You were all instrumental in helping us prepare for Miss Minnesota week and we love you all. 

Thirdly, thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that came out to support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at the Kolor Run for Kids 5K Run/Walk!! You made a dream of mine come true and exceeded even my highest expectations. Each moment meant so much to me, and your support will mean even more in the life of a child. 

I also competed for Miss Minnesota :) A life changing experience!! I had an absolute blast getting to know all the beautiful and passionate women competing for the title of Miss Minnesota 2013. I was honored to have been recognized as the Miss America Academic Scholarship recipient and was so proud to represent the people of Waseca County at that level of competition. Congratulations to Miss Minnesota 2013, Rebecca Yeh! I know you have and will continue to represent our state with poise and beauty.

As a fifth generation Waseca County resident, I was honored to open the 163rd annual Waseca County Free Fair with the voice God has given me! A great evening was spent with Waseca County veterans, color guard, and fair goers. 

I attended many parades with my lovely teen, Anna Burns! 

And finally, I helped in preparing 16 lovely women to compete in becoming new members of the Waseca Pageants Family!! 

Congratulations to the new titleholders, Katie Schroeder, Lauren Fellows, Sadie Odenbrett, and Alyssa Krum. I know you will represent the Waseca Pageants program with pride and have the time of your life. 

More pictures and my farewell video to come <3

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

As the School Year Rounds Out: Enjoying plans reaching fruition

As with every milestone in life, small endings seem to accompany larger ones. As I approach the end of the school year, I've happily found that one of wonderful things about being an extensive planner is having the opportunity to watch those plans reach fruition and goals be achieved. Experiencing this unique form of joy is a fool-proof mechanism for rekindling my passion after an extensive preparation or planning process. These enrapturing experiences fuel the energy and enthusiasm that prepare me for the next opportunity to serve.

Since my last post...

I've joined in helping the Augustana End Malaria Campaign raise over $2000...

To recognize World Malaria Day and support the ELCA Malaria Campaign in reaching their matching goal of $250,000, I spent time with fellow students bidding on donations from the Augustana Community and appreciating the time and talents dedicated to ending this preventable disease.

Find out more about World Malaria Day and how you can join the fight at

I've raised awareness on the need for potable water across the globe at the Water Walk...

Bringing home an event idea from DC this past summer, I worked to join three student groups at Augustana together to raise funds and awareness to support the global clean water initiative in the Water Walk: 6K for Earth Day.  Despite rescheduling due to snow (twice...what a spring) participants got a small taste of what it's like to have to walk significant distances each day to acquire clean drinking water. 

Over a billion people (mostly women and young children) walk an average of 6K (about 4 miles) each day to get potable water for their families. This formidable task keeps women out of work and young children out of school. Through awareness campaigns like the USAID 6K for Earth Day Walk for Water and global initiatives like The Water Project, progress is being made one village at a time. 

Learn more about how you can help at 

I've celebrated cultural diversity and supported refugees with the work my team at Lutheran Social Services accomplished this January to host the annual Taste of Cultures Event...

As one of the members of the Taste of Cultures team this January, it was a humbling experience to witness many hours of hard work pay off. Joining to celebrate the rich dynamic refugees add to our social fabric and to join in fellowship while raising funds that will support refugee families with their day-to-day needs was a beautiful finish to my experience with Lutheran Social Services.

Thank you to all the businesses that contributed to the silent auction - I enjoyed each conversation I had with you - and to the individuals that continue to invest their finances, time, and energy into making a new life for refugee families possible.

I've watched my team of 4-6th grade girls at Girls on the Run achieve their goal of finishing a 5K...

Joining my girls to celebrate a season of learning about the importance of taking care of our emotional and physical health in the annual Girls on the Run 5K produces some of the proudest moments imaginable for a coach and a mentor. As the culminating event of the Girls on the Run curriculum, the 5K is a moment in time that beautifully reflects the very essence of the program goals, and I am truly blessed to have shared the experience with my teams over the last three years. 

Thank you to the YWCA for organizing the GOTR program each year. As always it was a wonderfully fulfilling opportunity to serve as a coach at Mark Twain!!

I've listened as retiring political reporters discuss the changing information culture and growing threats to reliable media sources...

Attending a number of sessions of the Dakota Conference, a national conference dedicated to examining issues of contemporary significance in their historical and cultural contexts, the most interesting issue that I heard having widespread impacts on my generation today is the problem of an immediacy culture in news. Listening to longtime political reporters, they discussed the compromised reliability of news sources due to the information age, the push for information immediately without verification, and the ability of anyone from anywhere to post pieces of falsified information as if they were fact to the internet. Listening to them discuss the changes that are rapidly occurring in news today led me to ask how we as consumers are driving the spread of lucrative rather than trustworthy information. As I think on the slam posts that become circulated throughout social media, I question the decisions many of us are making in terms of surface level belief rather than delving in to the credibility of the sources from which we obtain our "news". 

Although I believe that the extent of fact checking by reporters that was possible in the print age is long passed, I do think that we the electorate need to be better informed about our news sources, to holistically recognize that not everything we read is true, nor credible, and to check the facts.  

I've even celebrated the arts, my time studying in the Government/International Affairs and Economics departments, and serving as a mentor for international students here at Augie...

But most importantly, I've cherished the relationships I've formed and the lessons I've learned about myself and about the world throughout my last three years at Augustana College. As I ready myself for graduation, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone at Augie for making my time here filled with cherished memories and timeless friendships. I am blessed by the inspiring environment that surrounded me each and every day and proud to forever be a fellow Viking.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Stormy Weather Won't Keep Us Down!!

Phewf what a busy couple of weeks it has been!

Before I get into what I've been up to, I just want to give a formal Congratulations to my little sister queen, Corrina Marie Swiggum, on being crowned Miss Minnesota's Outstanding Teen 2013!! I am lucky to have shared in your journey thus far, and I can't wait to continue watching you excel in all that you do. Know that I am always here for you if you ever need anything...even if it's just to help take off your shoes :)

Now, onto business... and what better place to begin than orientation.

After spending the first part of the day with the Miss Minnesota Class of 2013 going through paperwork, learning a little more about the great organization that we represent, and gathering insight on the job one of us will be taking on in June, we had the honor of watching our little sister queens perform what each of them have been working so hard on over the last few months. It's on nights like these that I feel the pride I have in the Miss Minnesota Organization well up inside me. Whenever I meet anyone that argues negatively against pageants, I invite them to experience the fruition of growth and development that happens on competition nights. Watching the joy and confidence that radiates from each competitor as they share a platform they have passionately promoted for months and achieve goals they have individually set for themselves is a priceless opportunity and one that should make all of us proud. Congratulations to all the beautiful young women that competed especially my very own Outstanding Teen, Anna Burns. You are all an inspiration!!

Last Tuesday I was featured as a guest writer in the county paper. I am always moved by opportunities to share my platform with ever growing audiences. Thank you to the staff at the Waseca County News for the opportunity. Feel free to read my article here, and let me know what you think!

Last week Sioux Falls experienced a terrible spring (yes, spring) ice and snow storm which wreaked havoc on cars, homes, power lines, and especially trees. With so many trees cracking and breaking throughout campus it was treacherous to walk across the open areas from building to building. Traveling throughout the city was also difficult as trees and power lines fell and over 25,000 people were left without electricity. I was blessed to be able to join my fellow students in helping to clean up our campus and the surrounding neighborhood starting with simple vehicle scraping and continuing on to brush clean up. It's always a great reminder of human kindness and community when you have five people volunteer to help you scrape the 2 inches of ice off your vehicle and then are able share the same act with others. The gift of service and time is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you to ASA & SALT for organizing and encouraging student service in this time of need.
Ole normally and after the storm. The trees seem to have gathered around him...or fell all over the place. Welcome to Spring?

Last Saturday, I was assigned to be a Moral Captain at the annual Augustana Dance Marathon!  Pledging to dance for 10 straight hours, we joined together in order to raise funds for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. From zumba to dodgeball to silly picture taking, it was an unforgettable day spent with Miracle families learning about their journeys and continuing to support them in their joys and their struggles. In the end, we raised $17,020 and I got to spend time with some pretty amazing kids including my Miracle Child an unbelievable little girl named Jerzey.  Struggling with heart problems since birth, Jerzey has traveled all over the country receiving a number of surgeries and transplants so she can keep sharing her smile, passion, and energy with all of those around her. Needless to say, beautiful stories like Jerzey's of hope and health are the reason why we do what we do. Thank you to everyone that participated especially the Augustana Dance Marathon Committee Members!

Watch the Augustana Morale Dance 2013 Here

On Monday I joined in a hands on learning experience at Blood Run Native American Heritage Site. I am continuously amazed by the achievements of tribal communities and fascinated by their view of life, death, and the world around us. Learning about the burial practices and rich cultures of different Native American tribes allows for greater understanding in cross-cultural discussions with Tribal leaders today, and I am blessed to continue growing in my knowledge of their beautiful history.

On Thursday I was selected to serve on a panel with the Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program in welcoming delegates from Austria and Germany to the Midwest. I was honored to have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experiences with our guests who are traveling to learn about multiculturalism and diversity around the world. From racial and ethnic divisions to religious and regional tensions, we discussed changing demographics in the Midwest and compared them to immigration patterns throughout Europe before concluding with positive steps our communities can take in order to bring about a more tolerant world for all regions of the globe. I cannot begin to explain how vitally important discussions like these are as they allow leaders from different cultures around the world to learn and discover ways in which we can live and work together.

Thank you to Dr. Joel Johnson for providing this opportunity for me. A special thank you to Ms. Amani ABU ZAHRA , Integration Commissioner at The Islamic Religious Authority; Mr. Steffen ANDERSCH, Director at Gegenpart; Mr. Muammer DURAN, Attorney in Private Practice and Chairman at the Hannover-Linden Chapter of the Christian-Democratic Union (CDU); Mr. Kingsley Kofi OHENE-DOKYI, Pedagogical Director at the Regional Center for Education, Integration and Democracy (RAA);  and Ms. Katja Ellen REIMANN, Political Editor at Der Tagesspiegel for traveling here to the United States in order to learn more about our culture and to join with us in taking steps towards a world of greater understanding.

Yesterday, I joined fellow Augustana and USF students in packing 25,704  meals at Kids Against Hunger. Shipping packages to feed starving children all over the world, Kids Against Hunger is instrumental in saving kids' lives in over 60 different countries each day. Learn more about their mission and find ways you can be involved at

This afternoon, I had the opportunity to join in fellowship with Augustana students, staff, and alumni in thanking donors at the annual Scholarship Luncheon. I am continuously awed by the passion and love donors have for this institution and its students, and I thank them for sharing that passion and love with me today.

I am simply touched by the generosity of the people who continue to support my education whether is through Augustana, my high school, or the Miss America Scholarship Organization. I am blessed by your giving hearts and overwhelmingly grateful for your loving gifts. I look forward to continuing your legacy in the future.

Also this afternoon, I joined in honoring those who were affected by the Boston Marathon Bombings by participating in a Joy Run. Running 2.62 miles we decided to respond to these terrible attacks not with hate and animosity but with joy, with a resilient human spirit, and with love. It was truly an honor to run along side some of the runners who lived through the experience on Monday and yet came home to join us in celebrating joy. May they be an example to us all.

Please consider donating to an organization such as United Way or the Red Cross that is dedicated to bringing joy and support to people all over the world.

Finally, I turned 21 this week! In light of that, I decided to share some pictures of me celebrating my birthday then and now. Thank you again to all my friends that joined me in a night of fun at Skyzone Trampoline Park. I love you all!

Thanks for making it through this post with me! I know it was a long one. 
Because it's snowing in April and because I love her, I leave you now with some classic Ella Fitzgerald. Until next time.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fundraising, Interviewing, and Supporting Fellow Contestants!

As the events and appearances pile up, it's about time for another blog post! Sometimes I feel like a radio announcer filling everyone in on the latest news and sharing the newest happenings around Waseca County, so in light of that, "Thanks for Tuning in to this Segment of Drew's News!" It's a pleasure to have you with me along this great journey.

Coming up next, join me as I take you through my week supporting my sister queens as the they head to the Miss Minnesota Outstanding Teen competition, spending time with my Girls on the Run learning about the value of authenticity, attending fundraisers for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and the Dream Catcher Foundation, celebrating my faith through some truly remarkable experiences, sharing some fun pieces of Indian culture with friends and family, and witnessing about my platform on the local Television station.

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of ooing and ahhing over my little sister queens Miss Waseca County Sleigh and Cutter's Outstanding Teen, Anna Burns, and Miss South Central's Outstanding Teen, Corrina Swiggum, at their send-off before the State Pageant this upcoming Saturday. I am so proud to have joined them on their journey, and I am blessed to call them dear friends. They are two accomplished young women who truly are beautiful inside and out. Thank you to both of you for representing Team Waseca with such passion and dedication as you have prepared for this milestone! Good luck and tons of love!! Congratulations for all that you have and will continue to achieve. You make this big sister proud.

Saturday afternoon I had the pleasure of helping at the annual Dream Catcher Bingo Fundraising Event. With a silent auction, live auction, multiple raffles, and of course BINGO it was a fun-filled event with plenty for Corrina and me to do! It was heartwarming to see so many people come out and make dreams come true for the children in the area who are suffering from terminal diseases. Thank you to everyone that joined in and showed their support!

One take away, you know you're in a small time when they auction off bread and butter :) YUM!

Throughout the week, I had the opportunity to partake in a number of Holy Week events that provoked reflection on the traditional notions of the passion story. Putting unique twists on a well-known concept or story forcing the audience to reevaluate institutionalized norms of interpretation and bringing new realizations is much in line with the aim of my platform - striving to elicit new understanding from differing vantage points in order to learn and grow together. 

Wednesday, I joined the Augustana International Club in sharing some fun aspects of Indian culture at a our annual Bollywood/Henna Night. I even had the opportunity to bring some henna home with me and share it with my friends and family over the holiday weekend.

Fun history about Henna: The art of henna (called mehndi in Hindi & Urdu) has been practiced for over 5000 years in Pakistan, India, Africa and the Middle East. Because henna has natural cooling properties, for centuries people of the desert have been using henna to cool down their bodies.  They make a paste of henna and soak their palms and soles of the feet in it to get an air conditioning affect. As the stain faded away, it left patterns on the skin surface which led to ideas to make designs for decorative purposes.  In the ancient Egyptian times mummies wore henna designs and it is documented that Cleopatra herself used henna for decorative purposes. Henna was not only a popular adornment for the rich but the poor, who could not afford jewelry, used it to decorate their bodies as well. In India today henna is used for many reasons including: self-expression, celebration of special occasions, inspiration, cosmetic treatments, medicinal uses, and blessings. Learn more here!

Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to join in supporting the first ever Mr. Augustana Pageant. Sharing insight on talent, overcoming nerves, and, of course, swimsuit, I had a blast supporting other candidates whose hearts were aimed at raising money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Thank you to the judges from CMN and the Augustana Dance Marathon for inviting me to join in your night. Congratulations to all the contestants especially Mr. Augustana 2013, Lance Shaull!

Thursday, I had the opportunity to lead my favorite lesson in the Girls on the Run curriculum. Covering self-image and self-esteem, we as coaches challenge our girls to analyze the messages that are streamed at them from every angle through media and advertisement. Encouraging them to shift through these often negative messages that tell us we aren't enough allows them to begin understanding the value in authenticity and individuality. The ability to share a message of true and healthy beauty with young girls is one of the most powerful and inspiring opportunities. 

To me, self-image is about recognizing the value in our unique gifts and abilities as well as having the self-compassion to be proud of our strengths and brave enough to share our vulnerabilities. Like the steps needed to bridge cultural gaps, we as individuals (much like individual cultures) have distinct capabilities that we can use to impact the world around us, and we have distinct struggles that we can bring forward with an open heart in the hopes of learning from other people (or cultures) to teach and learn in community.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to share my platform with KEYC viewers all over Southern Minnesota! As my first live television experience, I must say that I was a little bit nervous, but the KEYC team made me feel comfortable and right at home. Thank you to Lisa Cownie and the rest of her team for extending the invitation to join in on their afternoon show as well as showing great hospitality to me throughout my visit (at no one's request one gentleman even brought me a space heater to warm up as I was awaiting my interview segment...little to his knowledge he even succeeded at warming my heart). It was a truly fun and memorable experience, and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to continue sharing my passion and my message with an ever-extending audience.  See a recap of the interview here

Thanks for tuning in, everyone! Stop in next week as I recap on the Miss Minnesota Outstanding Teen Pageant and the Augustana Dance Marathon for Children's Miracle Network.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Break!

Happy to say it's been a fun and productive spring break! It is always a blessing to spend some time at home catching up on work and sleep.

Friday, my sister queen Miss South Central Outstanding Teen, Corrina Swiggum, and I volunteered at Dream Catcher Bingo Night to help raise funds for terminally ill children in the Waseca area. Varying from most Bingo nights, I found out Miss Corrina isn't all nun-chucks and hi-yahs (her talent is karate). We had a blast getting up on stage and singing together. If you ever get the chance, make her sing for you!

Sunday, I joined in supporting Corrina as she presented on her platform aimed at raising awareness on the need for self-defense (this is where the nun-chucks and karate kicks come in handy). As a college student, it is always startling to hear just how many young men and women are attacked each year, and I can't begin to imagine how valuable her message could be for any one of the people she reaches. I know there are a few precautions I will be taking in the future. For all my readers, join me in ensuring our own personal safety and the safety of our loved ones by being aware of our surroundings and acting as responsibly as possible. Great Job, Corrina!

Yesterday, I launched the Bridging Book Club. Inspired by my platform, the book list covers a wide range of cultural lessons including global faith differences, human conflict in changing political environments, family size controls and the subsequent need for international adoptions, cross-cultural health care experiences, and immigration. There are some truly great authors on the book list that masterfully tackle these challenging topics. Their works will surely ignite powerful discussions, and I cannot wait for the opportunity to facilitate and join in the cultural lessons and new realizations that will ensue. Sign up here and/or share with family and friends that would be interested!!

Today, I donned my green to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the Irish American Club of Southern Minnesota in Janesville. Having an appearance close to home that embodies all the values found in my platform meant for a wonderful day. Learning a little more about and experiencing Irish traditions in a fun, festive environment was a great way to see these values in action - bringing people together to celebrate the things that make us unique and yet draw us together in an environment of appreciation and support. I was also blessed to have the opportunity to perform my talent, chat with new and old friends alike, and support the girls running for the Miss St. Patrick/Miss Irish Rose titles. Congratulations to the 2013 titleholders Alicia Knoll and Ashley Ross!

Beyond helping my Dad out in the pig barns (yes, as in animals with over-sized noses yet they are outrageously smelly...ironic?), I have also been working with two in-school programs that are very dear to my heart.

The first is Girls on the Run (GOTR). Girls on the Run is a volunteer based program dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. Meeting twice a week for eight consecutive weeks, we as coaches work to teach life skills through dynamic lessons in order to help our team in understanding themselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and realizing how they connect with and shape the world. Working with Girls on the Run for the last three years, I have grown with each team and gained new insights into effective role modeling and the value of cross-generation relationships. Lessons that have been priceless to me in my capacity as a titleholder.

Weaving cultural lessons and a message of racial tolerance into my bullying and self-image curriculum, I am able to blend the lessons I have learned abroad with the powerful missive of each Girls on the Run lesson plan in order to enhance the applicability of the message for girls living in the 21st century's globalized world. I am beyond blessed to work for an organization that aligns so well with the Miss America Organization's message of inspiring the next generation of young women to dream big and never stop working hard or believing in themselves; to be healthy women both mentally and physically; and to dedicate themselves to active lifestyles, community service and positive choices. Join the GOTR family by volunteering in a community near you or support the girls as they aim to tackle the seemingly impossible goal (at least at the beginning of the season) of completing a 5K run by signing up for a GOTR race!

The second is Junior Achievement (JA). Aimed at helping each student reach his/her economic potential, this program introduces students to basic economic principles such as consume vs. produce or elementary banking concepts. Stressing the importance of responsible spending and saving, my class and I spent the week learning all about the complicated world of business and entrepreneurship. As a economics major with a focus in international affairs, each lesson was yet another way to share my passion for my platform and to introduce students to the different ways a globalized economy joins all cultures together in a web of correspondence and trade. Watching the students discover new concepts and gain new skills was an incredibly empowering way to start each morning of my break. In the end, I am proud to say we constructed an entire cardboard city with a population well informed on all the latest current events, market data, and local news and ready to tackle the world using responsible accounting and budgeting. Though in all actuality my class may not be ready to achieve all of those things, they nonetheless imagined a perfect city that has and managed to gain a grasp on many concepts that will continue to serve them well in the future.

Thank you to Brian Noyes for opening his classroom up to me and inviting me to get to know his students. I had a blast spending my break with them and look forward to serving in their classroom again soon!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Faith, Fundraisers, and Fun!

Hey, everyone! Sorry it's been awhile. Being a full-time student, full-time titleholder, and part-time club/organization connoisseur, life gets a little crazy. The good news is that I made it through testing and on to spring break unscathed. I'm looking forward to volunteering in schools each day this next week and spending some quality time with my family.

What have I been up to since my last posting?

I've spent a weekend with middle school aged kids from Western Minnesota and Eastern South Dakota learning about faith, personal growth, and how to remain true to who you are as you make the transition into high school and then into college. It was a weekend full of fun, fellowship, and little sleep (I will never understand the energy drink craze). The music was outstanding, so if you don't know who Agape and Rachel Kurtz are now, LOOK THEM UP!! And start sprinkling your sunshine on the people in your life.

I've performed in my last three nights of Augustana Basketball Games as a Vikette. It's been a true honor to be able to dance with my beautiful teammates, and I cannot tell you how blessed I have been to have them in my life. As I head toward an early college graduation, I just want to say thank you to my spirit squad family, especially our fearless leader Catie Menke, for all you've taught me over the last three years. Thank you for helping to shape and mold me into a more poised and confident leader. Thank you for inspiring me to reach every goal and for encouraging me every step of the way. You're the best support system a girl could ask for, and I love you all!!

I've helped raise almost $400 in less than 2 hours to assist the ELCA Fight Malaria Campaign. Each minute one child in the world dies from malaria. With mosquito nets, insecticides, medications, and education every one of these deaths could be eliminated. That is what the Fight Malaria Campaign aims to accomplish by 2015, and, as you can see below, we can all help. Enthusiasm and college kids' laundry money will get you far in life, folks. Trust me. My bruised knuckles (from pounding on dorm doors) definitely understand that every person and every little contribution counts. Thank you to Michaela Bernard for all her hard work and dedication towards this cause!

I've supported the arts by attending a performance of Euripides' The Bacchae. If you have ever read the script, believe me when I tell you it gets creeper in real life. I could still hear my tenth grade English teacher's voice as we traveled from scene to scene. I guess I can't help but appreciate how Euripides weaves issues of morality, governance, and faith in to every one of his plays. Great job to everyone in the cast especially my lovely teammate, Miss Mariya Swella!

Finally, I've been working on a number of things connected to my future and my interests. I've started LSAT preparations classes. I've helped recruit students to participate in an event aimed at reconciliation and embracing human commonalities that will take place on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation this May. Continuing my work with International Programming, I've learned about Thailand, Ghana, Italy, and Egypt from native presenters. I've constructed an independent research project that will take me to Nicaragua early this summer. I've helped with a petition aimed at preserving the strength and conviction behind a liberal arts education. And last, but not least, I've volunteered at the annual Augustana Idol. Some really great talent hit the stage that night, and I just wanted to say congratulations to each group!

Thanks for reading, everyone! I'll be back sooner next time to recap on this weekend and the rest of Spring Break. Talk to you all then!!