2010 North Park University Graduates Share Memories, Advice, and Plans

CHICAGO, IL (June 28, 2010) – Six weeks after graduation, North Park University’s May 2010 graduates have had some time to celebrate their accomplishments, rest after the hard work of the last several years, and reflect on the future.

Where are North Park’s 2010 graduates going from here? What foundation did the University provide for them, and how do they intend to build upon it? And now that they’ve completed their undergraduate studies, what advice do they have for current and new North Park students?

We caught up with five bright-eyed May graduates, who shared their fondest memories of life at North Park, best advice to current and new students, and exciting plans for the future.

Lauren Ernst, BA Communications, Minor in Nonprofit Business Management

Lauren ErnstI truly believe that I would not be the person I am today if I had not gone to North Park. So many of my experiences here played a role in preparing me for my life after college—all the teachings from chapel and collegelife, my participation in soccer and learning what it means to work on a team of people, and studying abroad and experiencing a different culture first hand.

North Park has instilled in me a desire to serve. I have decided that I want to serve by working for a nonprofit, humanitarian organization.

At the end of summer, I will be heading to Alaska to serve for two years as a ministry development intern for Covenant Youth of Alaska (CYAK), an organization whose mission is to develop youth ministry and serve the needs of native people throughout Alaska. After that, I would possibly like to go to graduate school to get a master’s in nonprofit business, or be a director of development for a humanitarian organization.


Adrian Battle, BA Youth Ministry

Adrian BattleMy professors at North Park University really helped develop me. They spent time with me inside and outside of the classroom, mentoring me and helping me understand why I do what I do. I have a passion to work with underprivileged youth in Chicago. I plan to jump into the social service field and start doing case management work with adolescents in the inner city.

For me, graduation is a huge accomplishment. It shows dedication, perseverance, and faithfulness. It is also a tribute to the community that I want to work with. It shows that there’s hope, and they can do it as well.

Jeremiah 29:11 talks about how God knows the plans of our lives, and I reference that scripture when I’m struggling, when people tell me things contrary to what God has spoken to me. I hope my story can be encouragement to those who are in doubt.

Amanda Padgett, BA French and English, Creative Writing Concentration

Amanda PadgettNorth Park not only gave me a great education, but it gave me some wonderful job and leadership skills. My leadership experiences at Phonathon, as well as my four semesters as a writing advisor, gave me valuable job experience that helped me impress the selection committee of Teach For America.

As a 2010 Teach For America corps member, I will begin teaching this fall in a high-needs, low-income school in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. I am so excited to begin my teaching career, and I can’t think of a better way for me to carry out North Park’s mission of living a life of significance and service than directly impacting the lives of students.

North Park gives you a great education, but I encourage current students not to discount the other experiences they can have at such a lively school in a diverse and bustling city. When you look back on your time at North Park, your experiences and the friends you’ve made will be what you think of the most.

Paul Burger, BA Music, Minor in Biblical and Theological Studies

Paul BurgerI chose to attend North Park because I have a passion for serving in ministry and specifically serving within the Covenant Church. North Park really prepared me for life in that I was able to learn how to be independent and make my faith my own.

Almost every professor I had at North Park was extremely influential, but specifically, Professor Willitts challenged me to stretch my thinking and encouraged me to reach a high level of learning. I found a lot of enjoyment getting involved with University Ministries and, as odd as it sounds, spending time in ARA.

This summer, I'm getting married to the girl of my dreams, and in the fall we will both be attending seminary at NPTS.

To current and new students, I would say that everything North Park has to offer is incredible, but there is absolutely no way you will be able to get involved in every activity offered on campus, so truly enjoy what you are doing.

Katie Norby, BA Biblical and Theological Studies, Biblical Studies Concentration

Katie NorbyAt North Park, I learned to stretch my mind and work diligently in the classroom. I felt very well-prepared upon my initiation into the working world at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, where I am working this summer as interim development assistant. For this, I have North Park and its professors to thank.

The community that is North Park University is truly enjoyable to experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at North Park while applying myself academically and engaging in my classes, but I would not have enjoyed my college experience as much if it had not been for my four wonderful roommates my junior and senior years. Like sisters, we hung out on the greenspace, or awoke early to watch the sunrise on Lake Michigan or explore downtown. I was blessed not only with amazing roommates, but with amazing friends as well.

I encourage current students to study hard while enjoying their classes, for education is an incredible privilege that should not be taken for granted. And I hope they enjoy the wonderful community of young adults around them.

Eventually, it would be a true honor to return to North Park as a student in the Seminary. I know that God is in control and I’ll let him lead the way!

Good luck, graduates! We know you'll make North Park proud.

Visit the online "yearbook" to learn what more of our 2010 graduates have in store or share your plans, watch North Park's Commencement 2010 videos, or browse the online photo album.