“Where I find happiness is not really in getting things, it's about giving. It's about being selfless.”
For Leah, SAU’s tradition of helping the community and impacting the world was an excellent fit. That, in part, is what led her to become an Ambrosian.
Hometown: Heyworth, Illinois
For Leah, there were advantages to growing up in a small town. Yet, she chose to expand her opportunities and attend a large high school located on a state university campus. Leah immersed herself in academics, activities and leadership, and rose to the top of her class. When it was time for college, Leah chose SAU and got the best of both worlds. We felt more like home to her and also provide countless opportunities to excel.
Leah aspires to be a physical therapist, a goal sparked by a high school injury and a caring health professional. “I want to be a person who believes in people and gives them hope,” Leah says. As an admit from high school to the Doctor of Physical Therapy program, SAU is giving Leah the best academic opportunity to achieve her dream. “Being an early admit to the DPT program was huge.” To broaden her skills, she may add a minor in biology, which she can earn with just one more class. At St. Ambrose, it is easy to cater your education to your goals.
What does SAU give you?
Leah embraces opportunities to learn, lead, and give. Her past involvement in clubs and organizations has shown her it's possible to achieve anything through hard work. At St. Ambrose, we have more than 80 clubs and organizations to give all our students opportunities to join, act, and grow. Her first year, Leah joined the jazz accapella ensemble STAMVOA and intramural volleyball, and she created deep friendships and a campus family. “There are so many people who are kind, reach out and show they care, definitely my peers but my professors as well," she says.
What did you learn about yourself your first year?
Leah says her first year at SAU changed her, in a very good way. “The biggest thing was my growth in confidence. In grade school and junior high, I didn’t have much confidence in my abilities. In high school, I started to realize I had a lot going for me. At St. Ambrose, that became even even more amplified,” she says. “I have values and I set priorities, and I stuck to them. It was a really, really good year.”
What does your time at SAU mean for your future?
“My time at SAU will shape every aspect of my future. Not only will it provide the education I need to become a licensed physical therapist, but I'll also develop the character to be a good one. With all of the new independence and freedom of choices, it's hard not to find yourself in college,” Leah says, adding that she quickly identified her priorities: putting Jesus first, being kind to all, and focusing on her studies. SAU supports her priorities through Campus Ministry programs and services, our social justice mission, and outstanding academic programs. “I believe finding myself in this way will help me immensely in my future and as a physical therapist. If my priorities are set where I want them, everything else will fall into place.”