Sponsored: Student desire to help others goes beyond the classroom

Kennesaw State University nursing major Katherine Street is busy taking the usual courses that will prepare her to work in health care, but she isn’t just limiting her learning to the classroom. The junior from Woodstock is working just as hard at earning credentials to become a global citizen.

Combining her love of nursing, scholarly curiosity and interest in other parts of the world, Street has visited Costa Rica, where she worked on a project to rehab a home for battered women. As a part of the President’s Emerging Global Scholars program at Kennesaw State, she spent time in Brazil, where she met with social justice workers and officials who discussed the country’s future growth. The PEGS program accepts only 30 students per year who want to explore their interests in a global setting.

“PEGS takes high-achieving students and teaches them to be leaders in a global world,” said Street, 21. “It challenges you to make changes in the world. And that’s why I’m here: to be challenged.”

Last summer, Street was in the United Kingdom as part of the Fulbright Commission’s Wales Summer Institute. The six-week institute for rising sophomores and juniors focused on the country’s industry, politics and culture through programs at three Welsh universities. Street was one of only eight students from the United States selected to participate.

“The program provided a variety of experiences to explore history, culture and language,” Street said. “But I also got a taste for the different aspects of the medical field, too.

“The best part was that I got to interact with health care officials there. It was fascinating to speak with an M.D. working in rural health care in Wales about the importance technology plays in bringing health care to those areas.”

On Kennesaw State’s campus, Street focuses her out-of-class activities on making a difference in the lives of other students. She is a mentor for first-year PEGS students and has helped teach a global affairs class.

“I enjoy helping students with that transition between high school and college,” she said. “I’ve helped them get settled into campus and organized volunteer events and social activities so they feel integrated. This past summer, I went with some of those students to Brazil to help them through the culture shock.”

Street is also president of KSU’s Student Government Association. She’s been part of the organization since her freshman year, following in the footsteps of her brother, a former member and president.

“From him I heard about the great things the association does for students, and I decided it was a group that wanted to make a difference,” Street said. “That was a group I wanted to be with.”

Street also has been a driving force behind the student leadership’s Relay for Life, an annual event that raises support and awareness for the American Cancer Society. The most recent event raised $1,542.

But it’s not just school-related activities that take up Street’s time. She’s also a musician, playing flute and singing at Roswell Community Church, where she’s part of the church’s children’s ministry.

In addition, being a Woodstock resident means she has to factor commute time into her daily routine — which usually doesn’t leave a lot of room for down time.

“I sleep whenever I can,” Street said with a laugh. “I just try to get to bed relatively early and get up really, really early so I can do my homework before classes. Right now, I’m more focused on making an impact.”