Involvement Changed Her Mind, Emporia State Is Changing Her Life
While still attending Eureka High School, about 45 miles south of Emporia, Brooke Schmidt had friends that enrolled at Emporia State University and gave it rave reviews. She toured the campus and it was love at first sight. Signing her name on the enrollment forms gave her great joy. It was all good.
And then ... not so much.
"My freshman year I was not involved in anything" she recalls "I did not like it here and it was not much of a positive experience, I didn't know my niche yet."
Schmidt then opened her eyes to the possibilities of getting involved on campus. She found that, unlike some of the larger universities, it is much easier to join groups and organizations at Emporia State and that allows you to find yourself.
Seemingly overnight, Schmidt went from zero involvement to advocate colossality. And her love for Emporia State University grew in equal proportion.
Schmidt became president of her sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha, and president of Alternative Spring Break. She became a Community Hornet and joined Sigma Alpha Lambda, saying that each experience increased her passion to help students. She is currently president of Emporia State’s Associated Student Government (ASG). In 2012 Schmidt was honored as a co-queen at the school's Homecoming and as a Shepherd Scholar. Also this year she has a spot on the prestigious Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs search committee.
"I love working with students and helping them develop and transform," she says.
What seems so obvious and natural now, took awhile to sink in for Schmidt. It all began to come into focus in the summer of her freshman year, when she went on a mission trip to Peru.
"I did a lot of bible studies while there and at first communicated to the children through a translator. That was not easy, became frustrating and probably made the lessons less effective."
Schmidt, who had studied Spanish at Eureka High and is a now a senior Spanish major at Emporia State University, took a step of faith and began relying more on her own skills. Results improved.
And that got Schmidt to thinking, not just about school involvement, but her choice of major, too. She returned for her sophomore year and took a personality assessment that showed her skills highly ranked in the helping fields. Schmidt had no plan to drop Spanish but wondered if she should look for a good academic companion and credits David Milford, assistant director of Emporia State Career Services, with helping her out.
Even back in high school she had identified as much, though was somewhat torn between nursing and psychology. Now Career Services and the vast experiences at Emporia State have provided a solid foundation for her future. After graduating from Emporia State University, Schmidt will move on to seeking a degree in student affairs.
Though when asked by high school students looking for a university, it is doubtful she will ever fail to sell what she found at Emporia State.
“When I visited Emporia State I found the classroom sizes similar to what Eureka High had so I was not intimidated by the size,” she recalls. “The campus was beautiful and friendly. The community of Emporia has a lot of good shopping. The city and the school are homey. Emporia State University is one of the most affordable universities and well known for its quality programs.”
"I just found Emporia State to be a good place to find yourself. Emporia State University really is changing lives."