Jess Strenth received the Annie Boyd Parker Weaver Award, the university’s highest honor for a graduating female, at the May 2019 commencement. Here is Jess’s story:
After a lifetime of looking forward to coming the University of Mobile, I graduated this month with two degrees: Bachelor of Science in Worship Leadership and Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Many people wonder how these two things are related, but as I’ve been studying the intricacies of each for four years, I’ve learned that they truly go hand-in-hand. I might go as far as to say we cannot have one without the other. I have been taught to live a life of worship that extends beyond the platform and to encourage and disciple others to do the same. Where does that begin? In relationships. What I’ve learned about counseling is that the foundation of helping someone is creating a relationship with them. Hence, my passion for studying these areas of life has only heightened, and the Lord has truly done a work in me.
I plan to move forward in my education in the fall, here at the University of Mobile. I have been accepted into the Marriage and Family Counseling graduate program, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue on this path. I also would love to pursue the Worship Leadership graduate program; we will see where the Lord guides my footsteps very soon.
The University of Mobile means so much to me, because here I not only met the closest and most influential friends of my life, I also met my family. That has been said a million times, I know — but only because there are no truer words to say. My professors catapulted me into my career with so much more than knowledge. They have prayed with and for me, they have encouraged me, they have cried with me and laughed with me. My advisors have become friends. My friends have become family.
My worldview has been changed in light of the Gospel. I have learned what it means to be the Church instead of simply going to church. I’ve learned how to fight for people, and for myself, biblically. My love for knowledge has grown, and I’ve developed a hunger for wisdom. Of course, not all of this is because I attended a specific school. But, this school created an environment of safety, of learning and of love. And that is something we can’t find around every corner.
I’m more thankful for my time at University of Mobile than I could ever write in one blog post. But for just the tip of the iceberg — thank you, UM. It’s been a blast.