Rifts and Riffs: a not-so-straight path to discovery
During his first two years at Alvernia, junior Kevin John discovered his true love: community. “I’m fascinated by the uniqueness of people and their circumstances; I have a passion to be with people where they are,” John says.
As his strengths and true desires became more evident to him, John decided to change his major at Alvernia from occupational therapy to social work. He has not looked back. John says, “Every person, no matter what his or her situation, is valuable and worthy of care.”
A far-reaching love
John’s love for community already stretches throughout Alvernia’s campus and beyond. On campus, he provides support and care as a resident assistant in Veronica Hall, where he “has watched 13 freshmen who didn’t know each other slowly build friendships and create a wonderful atmosphere to learn and grow with each other.”
John is also heavily involved with Alvernia’s InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where he co-leads a small group bible study that meets in the Veronica Hall Chapel. “My journey with God really took off as my college life began,” he says.
Off campus, John recently began fieldwork at Olivet Boys and Girls Club, where he works with two programs — DREAM, an initiative for adolescents who have had problems with the law, and MAP, a mentorship program that teaches adolescents to paint and draw under the direction of a commissioned artist.
Self-discovery through musical meditation
To balance his hours of working with others, John likes to grab his guitar and head outside on a nice day. “There is something about being close to nature while I play — it’s both energizing and relaxing,” he says. John began teaching himself how to play the guitar through videos on the internet a little over a year ago, and he hasn’t put it down since, using it as his “method to recover; a sort of meditation and therapy.” He particularly likes playing Christian worship music, and he often plays for Campus Ministry on Worship Nights.
Concerning his plans for the future, John says, “my journey is very much incomplete. I love learning about social work and everything that comes with it, but I am still searching for a definite career path. I have so many options in front of me — it is difficult to choose just one.”
John admits he has had numerous shortcomings and failed attempts during his college years thus far, but he tries to always move forward with faith. “I’ve learned the most from myself through the heartache and failures,” he says. “And I’ve also made a commitment to take advantage of all the opportunities that arise for me at Alvernia, and through my experiences, I discovered my desire to serve.”