Our Stories

Kelsey SomaKelsey Soma

Kelsey Soma: Be accomplished.

"If you come to Willamette, you don't just go to your classes and go back to your residence hall," says Kelsey Soma, a senior psychology major from Honolulu, Hawaii. "There are so many things you're going to want to dive into. The opportunities are endless."

Soma has taken full advantage of her opportunities at Willamette. As a freshman, she traveled to Ground Zero in New York City to provide relief for rescue workers in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. Since that time, she's built houses as part of Habitat for Humanity, organized a beach cleanup as treasurer of Circle K, mentored local school children as a volunteer in our Into the Streets program, voiced concerns as a member of the Kaneko Hall Council and helped bring filmmaker Michael Moore to campus as co-president of the Willamette Events Board.

But Willamette is more than a place of endless opportunities; it's a place where you can turn those opportunities into a foundation for the future. As an intern for Family Building Blocks, a local child abuse prevention agency, Soma provided therapy for troubled children and researched the risk factors that influenced their success or failure in the program. Now she's looking forward to a career as a clinical child psychologist.

"The longer I've been here, the more I realize that Willamette isn't about preparing you to get the most money out of a job," says Soma. "It's about preparing you to make the biggest difference you can as one being, one person."

At Willamette, you can focus on the things you care about most, and you can ally yourself with students who are making connections, making up their minds - and making a difference in their world.