Looking Back: Thank You

This is my last time writing for our blog and for a while, I felt at a loss for words. It seems surreal that my time as a member and leader of With Purpose: College Station is over. When approaching the ending of something, I like to consider what I’ll be taking from the experience. Curious to know what others who are also leaving thought, I asked senior Kristin Murray what she will remember most about WPCS, having been an active member for four semesters.

“[Some] of my favorite things from WPCS [are] the friendships that were created. I was able to become friends with some of the sweetest people that I would have likely never crossed paths with if it weren’t for this organization. Having friends that are so dedicated to a selfless cause is something I cherish.”

Senior and co-founder Megan Nicholson echoed Kristin’s thoughts when asked the same question.

“It’s hard to choose one thing from two years of great memories, but I think this quote by Margaret Mead sums up how I feel about the group of people I’ve been privileged to work with: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’”

We’re lucky that our members speak so highly of the organization, as evidenced above. But how did we come by such inspiring people in the first place? What does WPCS do to draw students in? For Megan,

“…I decided to continue my involvement because I learned more about the cause and how important it is for children to have adults advocate for them. It’s one of those issues that makes people think, ‘Someone should do something about this,’ and I wanted to be ‘someone.’”

After reading Megan and Kristin’s answers, I was struck with a realization. At the heart of these graduating seniors’ thoughts about With Purpose is the concept of empowerment, which shows up as the third word in our vision statement: “develop and empower individuals to be impactful, passionate members of their community…” Perhaps our mission was right in front of us, within our members, prior to being formally written by the leadership team one year ago.

I was empowered by WPCS even before I began trying to empower others. This organization was my compass during the second semester of my freshman year; it steered me onto the correct path and changed the way I interact with the world around me. For that reason, I would like to use this space to write an open thank you note to my friends in WPCS and our supporters.

To Cole Stenholm, Megan Nicholson, and Meredith Scudder (my fellow co-founders):

Thank you for saying “yes” when I asked if you wanted to create an official Texas A&M student organization and continue our work for With Purpose. We were four individuals who had never laid eyes on each other three months prior and could have easily gone our separate ways once our project was complete. However, when each of you agreed to help form With Purpose: College Station, we ceased to be four individuals and instead became a team. In fact, we are more than a team- you are also great friends. Cole and Meredith, I'm so confident that you will lead our organization with excellence next year. Megan, I'm equally as confident that you will be successful in all that you do after your upcoming graduation.

To Dr. Poirot, our professor and advisor:

Thank you for going the extra mile when teaching COMM 203 in the spring of 2015. You could have easily given us the generic assignments that most public speaking students participate in each year; however, you chose to offer a more meaningful experience. That class project holds some of my favorite memories and WPCS is indebted to you.

To Erin Benson and Michael Lee:

Thank you for creating this beautiful and wonderful organization and for taking a chance on ten Texas A&M students who wanted to support your cause in a public speaking class. Thank you for allowing Sam’s legacy to live on through our chapter. Thank you for your transparency as you navigate grief and heartache, and thank you for not giving up. You have greatly impacted my life.

To Aubri Grover, Brittany Espinosa, Casey Clarke, Danielle Roberson, Dominique Smith, Jose Cairo, Kaylee Mersiovsky, and Savannah Warren (the rest of the leadership team):

Thank you for your tireless dedication to get the job done. Thank you for supporting and encouraging each other constantly. Thank you for your passion and commitment to not only our cause, but also to our members. Thank you for setting an example; you were each selected to be a leader because you bring to us something special, something absolutely necessary. I can’t tell you enough times how lucky I am to be on your team. You each inspire me to be better.

To Courtney Carver, Dylana Nguyen, and Lily Maganza:

Thank you for wanting to invest in the future of With Purpose. I have no doubts that you will flourish as new members of the leadership team next year and I only wish that I could see it in person. I know that you will each leave a special legacy in WPCS.

To all who have supported us along the way:

Thank you for taking a second look at our table in the MSC, for reading our flyer instead of throwing it away, for liking our social media post, for dropping your receipt in our profit share bucket, for running with purpose, and so much more. WPCS depends on supporters such as yourself.

Lastly, to every single member of WPCS:

Thank you for giving your time. Thank you for sharing your smiles. Thank you for your constant encouragement when it seemed very easy to give up, and thank you for reading my emails. ;) Continue to utilize your individual strengths however possible and your teams will be unstoppable, in With Purpose and in life.

Courtney McIlvoy

WPCS President 2015-2017

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We are the Texas A&M chapter of With Purpose, a nonprofit that raises money and awareness for childhood cancer research.

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