November 30, 2018 | Mikayla Heldt
Major: Philosophy & Religion
Hometown: Waco, Texas
Q: How did you find out about SAGU and how have you been involved since arriving on SAGU's campus?
I actually came to SAGU through a Soccer Scholarship. I played only my first year at SAGU, and I was rookie of the year.
My first year I played on the Women’s Soccer Team, a Community Leader on Bridges Hall, an Intern at The OAKS, SMA Prayer Leader, and SMA Mission Trip Leader to Germany. My second year, I became a Residential Assistant in Bridges Hall. This year, I am a Head Residential Assistant of Bridges Hall and the President of Christians United for Israel.
Q: How has your time at SAGU impacted you and what would you say are some of your fondest memories?
When I first arrived at SAGU, I was struggling to find myself and uncertain of what I believed. I knew religion, but I did not know Jesus. SAGU introduced me to Jesus. Through the faculty, staff, and my fellow classmates I was privileged to see the hand of God move.
“Finding Jesus helped me find myself.”
Encountering Jesus helped me know what I believed, and it was SAGU who taught me how to articulate this belief. SAGU has been a place sharpening and developing of the skills I possess. SAGU is where my life changed, and it has played a pivotal role in giving me the courage to chase after my dreams. But most of all, SAGU is home, and I would not be the person I am today without it.
My fondest memory has been winning Homecoming Queen this past Fall. It was a true honor, and I am beyond grateful.
Q: How has your faith played a role in your life?
My upbringing was in a minister's home. It was not until I arrived at SAGU that I realized I did not have faith of my own but rather I relied on my parents' faith. Through my years at SAGU, I learned the importance of faith and its significance. It is the foundation we stand on, and it is what we hold tightly onto in difficult times.
Q: Can you tell me about your internship with Ted Cruz this past summer? Are there any moments in particular that really influenced you?
My internship was an incredible experience. I had the opportunity to meet leaders all across the state from Mayors, Commissioners, City Officials, Judges, and Business leaders. I was privileged to interact with constituents each day hearing their beliefs and struggles. I was able to see first hand how much Senator Ted Cruz’s team truly cared and desired to make a practical difference. Senator Ted Cruz’s staff was a team of intelligent, determined, honest, and kind people. This office truly cared about the people it represented. Each call mattered. Each letter mattered. Each person’s voice mattered. This internship riled within me a passion and a zeal to stand up for the things I believed in because I realized the power a person has when they are willing to stand up for what they believed in.
One day, I was talking with one of the Senator’s staff members about the things I wanted to pursue, and I will never forget what she told me. She began to tell him ‘Honey, I believe you can achieve anything you set your mind to. But first, you need to know what you believe and why you believe because if you don’t stand for something you will fall for everything. And then she quote Michelle Obama “when they go low, we go high.” She said how people will want to take you down, but when you know what you believe no matter how low they go you don’t have to stoop to their level. You stay high.’ This moment impacted me to my core. It really made me grateful for SAGU’s role in my life. I have been privileged to go to a University that focuses on equipping us to know what we believe and how to articulate it clearly.
Q: What are your plans after graduation and what advice would you give to students in pursuit of a career in law or politics?
I plan to attend law school.
Get involved. Volunteer for a campaign you believe in. Stay up to date with the news and current events. Voice your opinion. Know what you believe. No doesn’t always mean ‘no’ sometimes it just means not yet. Stay grounded. Keep the faith. Your grades matter and you are in a season of preparation. It will not always be easy, but it will be worth it. Always remember Jared Leto’s famous words: “Try and fail, but never fail to try!” Go after your dreams. You will never know what you can achieve unless you try!