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By: Dr. Lucie Pentz

“ Turn your passion into a career” was the theme for our last Student Forum on January 4. Students gathered in the Susan Tucker Moore Auditorium to hear special speakers. This was special because both presenters were our own SJA students, Renae Stamas and Graham Preston. They took us on a journey from an initial interest to a passion that they are planning on pursuing in the future as their careers develop. They described finding the initial spark, which propelled them to learning, especially when encountering setbacks, which eventually led them to various opportunities. Our first speaker, Renae Stamas, discovered a love for sewing and fashion design at an early age and that prompted her to create her own blog (check out ThareniNicola.com). Renae’s blog resulted in an invitation to Fashion Week in NYC. She was followed by Graham Preston who described his journey from small steps in coding using Scratch and learning new computer languages to designing his own games and apps. You could sense the inspiration, excitement and soul searching (or should we say “passion searching”?) in the air as students attentively listened and asked intriguing questions during the Q and A time.

So, what’s your passion? Is there anything that sparks your interest, keeps you up late at night and does not leave you alone? Don’t silence it.  Pursue it, even a small step each day counts.