Senior Jena Finch Finds her Voice at Mount Union

March 14, 2016

By Jaime Eyssen

College is a time to discover yourself, and for senior intervention specialist major Jena Finch of Boardman, Ohio, the University of Mount Union was the perfect place to help her to not only find her voice, but inspire others to find theirs as well.

“In high school, I was more introverted but coming to Mount I met such wonderful people and realized how much opportunity there was,” Finch said. “That helped me to find my voice.”

At Mount Union, Finch took advantage of opportunities such as serving as president of Kappa Delta Pi, having the opportunity to be a Regula Scholar and being elected as senior class president.  All of those experiences helped lead to one thing, Finch’s love for inspiring others.

“I think my biggest takeaway from being class president is having the opportunity to inspire others,” Finch said. “I think that one of the most important aspects of being a leader is to inspire other people to become leaders because the world needs a lot more leaders.”

Finch is also involved in Greek life as a member of Alpha Xi Delta and she served as a recruitment counselor this past fall.

“I think that it is really important – especially when you are a leader in an organization – to take the option to give back,” Finch said. “Becoming a rho gamma gave me the chance to give back to my chapter and to the Greek life community as a whole.”

In addition to her numerous involvements on campus, Finch has taken her leadership talents abroad as well. During her junior year, she studied abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand and this past spring break she attended the social responsibility trip in El Obraje, Nicaragua.

While in Chiang Mai, Finch had the opportunity to work with local orphanages by helping the kids cook or teaching them English. Recently in El Obraje, she had the opportunity to help the locals combat a two-year drought through planting gardens with richer soil.

“It definitely opens up your eyes a lot and helps you realize how much Mount Union has to offer,” Finch said. “I think realizing how much you have makes you work harder and makes you want to help other people even more."

Finch’s opportunities and experiences abroad also helped her develop various skills within her major.

“These trips have opened my eyes to how students learn and how diversity and culture are important no matter where you are in the world,” Finch said.

After her recent trip to El Obraje, Finch brought some of the lessons she learned back to her current students at her teaching placement at Alliance High School. She taught her students about the different culture, Spanish words and some of the songs that they sang while in El Obraje. She also passed around the different currency to compare it to the currency from the U.S.

“It was really cool for me to learn all of this stuff and then be able to relay that information to my students and put it into a lesson,” Finch said.

Not only did studying abroad help her as a teacher, but Finch also credits her opportunities for further helping her find her own voice as a leader.

“I know its cliché to say, but stepping out of your comfort zone is so huge because you learn so much about yourself and what your strengths and weaknesses are,” Finch said. “So if you don’t take those opportunities, I think that you are kind of limiting yourself to your options.”

Finch believes that stepping out of comfort zones can help people can find their voice in a variety of ways, whether that is through academics, organizations or just a group of friends. To Finch, once people find their voice, great leadership is soon to follow.

“Once you find your voice, you will have an easier time being a leader because you won’t be so easily persuaded,” Finch said. “I think my biggest piece of advice would be to find your voice and just don’t be afraid to use it.”

After Mount, Finch plans on using her voice to work with kids and help to inspire them to find their own voices.

“I want everyone who hasn’t found his or her voice yet to find it because once you do you feel like you can do anything,” she said.

 

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