Emma Kerkering, in her third year at Montana State University (MSU), is passionate about bringing people together and lifting those around her up. Over the course of her three years at MSU, Emma has influenced many of her peers on campus though her role as peer advisor, as well as through different leadership roles in her sorority- Alpha Omicron Pi. Her influence is felt beyond campus through volunteer efforts at the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital providing direct care in the Emergency Department as well as the NICU. She also volunteers with Eagle Mount to provide aquatic and equine therapy to disabled and sick youth in the Bozeman community. Looking beyond her local community, Emma plans to volunteer at the US-Mexico Border with the non-profit South North Nexus where she will assist in performing nutritional and stress assessments on refugee children who are stuck at the border to provide needed resources and solutions for these children. Her passion for health care, particularly providing quality and equitable care, are showcased through her community involvement and will serve her well as she hopes to continue her education to become a pediatric doctor.
My motivation to be involved in my community derives from my desire to bridge communities by sharing my experiences and the ones of those around me. Through this wish, I have served as the New Member Educator for my sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, in 2021 and am serving as Vice President of Operations for 2022. I volunteer at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital in the NICU and the Emergency Department, in addition to Eagle Mount Bozeman. I am a current Health Professions Peer Advisor, where I can talk to other pre-health students about my journey and hear their concerns. Through South-North Nexus, a nonprofit that works to elevate the voiceless, I am taking a trip to the US-Mexico border to perform nutritional and stress assessments on children stuck at the border to assess their needs and provide resources and coping strategies. Through interactions with a wide variety of people, whether it is peers, patients, or refugees, I want to forge connections with people who are underrepresented or are unsure about how to speak up for what they are feeling. Society changes through understanding and belonging, which I hope to foster in my community, from the border to my campus.