Hope Grows is now growing in Mexico!

Hola a todos!

I hope everyone is enjoying summer. Can you believe July has arrived? Crazy how fast time flies in the summer. I just returned from Juarez, Mexico where I was working on my project for HEI (Hope Entrepreneur Initiative). While in Mexico, I helped start a garden at an orphanage. We planted tomatoes, chilies, celery, and cilantro. My project idea is called Hope Grows, which helps the indigent children living in orphanages in Juarez, Mexico create their own sustainable food while teaching valuable life skills. So I am basically working with non-profit organizations and creating a garden program for them in Juarez, Mexico.

I have been going to Juarez, Mexico since I was eight years old with my family. My dad led groups from our church to Juarez about four times a year. I really enjoy helping the people there and am so thankful for the opportunity to work at Hope this summer to extend the work being done in Juarez.

Next spring break, I am hoping to take some friends from Hope with me to Juarez. My friends tease me about talking about Mexico all the time during the school year.

Hopefully we will be able to gather a group from Hope to visit Juarez in the near future. While I was in Juarez the weather consisted of full sunshine, and the temperature ranged around 114° everyday. So incredibly hot! I am looking forward to enjoying some nice 80-degree weather in Holland this week.

Well I need to unpack and get organized, and I need to go to the grocery store and stock up on some food. I hope you all have a wonderful fourth of July!

Until next time,


Before Garden

After garden

Hope Friends. Nothing Better.

Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone is enjoying summer! Life in Holland has been excellent. I would like to tell you a little bit about my friends from Hope and the people here. Some of you may be incoming freshmen who are nervous about making friends right away. I definitely was nervous about making new friends at college. I was one of those people who loved high school and grew up in a close-knit community. I felt nervous the summer before my freshmen year, because I feared losing my high school friends and not connecting right away with the people in college.

A great thing about being a freshman in general is that everyone is in the same boat as you. Everyone is new, and everyone is looking for some new friends. During orientation you will meet so many new people and no one really knows anyone. After orientation, I really felt like I was beginning to form new friendships. The people at Hope are so welcoming and kind. I am still good friends with my orientation leader from last year.

I love the people so much at Hope that I am here for the summer. I still am close with my high school friends, but it is so nice to meet new people and form new friendships.

It feels crazy to me that I have not known any of these people for even a full year, but I consider some of them my best friends. I have visited my friends from Hope several times this summer. It is also nice because my good friend Grace lives in Kalamazoo so I drive down to see her, and she also comes here to visit. Last weekend we had a fun sleepover. All in less than 24 hours, we went out to dinner, hung out in the hot tub, visited another friend from Hope, watched a movie, ran in the woods, swam in the lake, grabbed coffee at Biggby, enjoyed pedicures, ate sushi, and just chilled together. We definitely packed a lot of activities in such a short time.

I am so thankful for the wonderful friendships I have made in just attending Hope for one year. I look forward for more friendships to come. So if you are an incoming freshman, no worries…. The people at Hope are friendly and welcoming!

Have a great week!

Pictures with my friend Grace! 


Hope Grows

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all are enjoying your summers! For all of you high school seniors, CONGRATULATIONS! 

I have been very busy in Holland so far this summer. My May term has ended, and I am now apart of HEI (Hope Entrepreneurship Initiative). This means there are eight Hope students who are working on their own ideas for the summer. We are working with Momentum and attending their events in Grand Rapids each week. We work on our ideas as a group and individually and meet up with other people working on start-ups at Momentum events. We attend a workshop weekly and also a dinner. This already has been a great opportunity and I am learning a lot. I will further explain my idea a different time, but I am hoping for the organization to be called Hope Grows. I have a logo below that I have been working on. 

I am very impressed with the opportunities I have already been exposed to through Hope’s entrepreneurship program. We meet as a group weekly and have lunches with people from around the area, and they share with us all sorts of advice and stories. This summer is already off to a great start.

When I have not been working, I have taken several trips to the beach. I ride my bike there and love to run along the water. These past couple of days have been very hot. It’s a nice change from the cold winter months, so I cannot complain. 

Have a great week!

Best May Term Class!

Hello everyone!

I am currently in JPs Coffee House prepping for my presentation that I give in about an hour. The entrepreneurship class has been great! We have heard from several different speakers and are learning about developing our ideas. We have talked about idea generation, idea assessment, idea protection, branding, human resources, financial resources, risk management, and market strategy. The course is very intense, but I am learning so much in only three hours a day. This entrepreneurship class is very unique to Hope and opens up a lot of networking for students in the class. We have attended conferences in Grand Rapids and have been having lunches with a variety of different business people from the Holland area.

I am learning a lot about business and everything it takes to get the ball rolling to start one. I feel like everything I learn in the class is definitely practical to my life and the real world. So far it has definitely been the most interactive class I have ever had. The class consists of only 10 people, and we have 2 professors so it is very personalized.

Well, I better work some more on my presentation. I hope you all have wonderful weekends! 

Here is a picture from my trip to the beach at Holland State Park. Beautiful sunset!

New Crib in Holland

Hey everyone!

I hope you all are doing well. Life in Holland is great. I am now finally moved into my summer house. It is located on 13th street, which is still close to campus, and I am living here with four other girls from Hope. I now officially feel like an independent college student: living on my own, cooking and cleaning, taking class during the morning, working in the afternoons, and trying to squeeze in a little time for myself. These past couple weeks have been crazy, but they have also been great.

Last weekend I drove home to Springfield for my sister’s graduation party. I brought my friend from Hope home with me. My sister said we were legit college friends because I had visited her house and now she had visited my house.

We enjoyed our time together. I especially enjoyed the company for the six-hour car drive. =]

After the visit to Springfield, my friend helped me move into my off campus summer house. Moving the futon from the basement to my room was quite the trip. It took a good five hours before I settled all of my things.

Now I am sitting at my desk in my new house. It feels good to be settled. However, I probably will not get strong enough Wi-Fi to post this blog, so I will post it in the morning. =]

Have a stunning weekend!

Until next time,


New room!

Tulip Time!

Hey Everyone!

I hope you all are doing well. I am still in Holland because I am taking a May term. Quite a few students stick around Holland during the summer. May terms are a great way to earn credits in a short time period. I am taking an Entrepreneurship class, which so far has been great.

My first week has been very exciting because Tulip Time occurred in Holland. I never experienced anything quite like Tulip Time. There were parades, Dutch dancers with people dressed in Dutch costume with wooden shoes, fair vendors who sold yummy fair food, tulips all over the place, fireworks, fair rides, and much more. Holland’s streets were packed with people coming from all over to enjoy Tulip Time. It is something very unique and kind of hard to describe.

Despite the cold winter, the tulips all around town look beautiful. I love running and looking at all the different types of tulips lined up along the streets.

Thankfully Holland’s weather cooperated for Tulip Time. It was in the 80s for most of the week. I was worried that summer never would come in Holland, but it definitely was plenty hot for me.

Well, I recommend that everyone experience Tulip Time at some point. The rest of my family already has planned to attend it next May. I hope you all have wonderful weeks!


Beautiful Tulips!


Wahoooo my first year at Hope College is officially complete!!!!!! I feel so incredibly blessed for opportunity to learn and grow at this place. The best part is I have 3 more years. My first year at Hope has been filled with great memories, professors, classes, friends, and fun.

As I reflect on the entire year, it makes me sad to think of not seeing my friends for a whole summer, but not too sad, because summer lasts only a short time. Hope has been a great place to not only learn from academics, but also learn about myself.


  • Freshman Orientation — an experience I will never forget
  • Watching the Pull for the first time — INTENSE
  • Competing and winning the Nykerk competition — Yeah Even Year!
  • Several trips to the beach — Beautiful Tunnel and Holland State Park
  • Buying my first longboard — and now always longboarding
  • Club Durf Dance parties — dressing up in costumes
  • Late night talks — so many with my great roommate
  • IHOP & Steak ‘n Shake midnight runs — careful with these, freshman 15…
  • Spring Fling — possibly one of the best days at Hope College
  • Concerts — local artists from Hope have a lot of great talent
  • Playing in the snow — you have to make the most of the cold weather =]
  • Skiing at Crystal and Boyne Mountain — I love skiing and want to take more trips next year
  • Endless time at coffee shops — I love studying at JP’s Coffee, just a block from campus
  • Chicago trip — provided by SAC (Hope’s Social Activities Committee), shopped a whole day and watched the City of Lights festival

These are just a couple of things that pop into my mind. This year really has been great. As cheesy as this sounds, college really is the best time of your life. I know everyone says it, but I now think I have had one of the best years of my 19 while being at Hope College.

Until next time,


Pictures from Spring Fling day

Beach Escape!

Hey Everyone!

I hope you all are doing well. Today concludes the first day of exam week. I woke up at 7 to study before my Spanish exam this morning. I was very tired because I had stayed up late working on my stats final exam paper, but no worries… IT IS FINISHED! I felt so relieved to have that accomplished. Now I am just finishing up with a couple of other papers. 

Of course, I did not study all weekend. I allowed myself some fun. I went out to dinner in Grand Rapids, attended a concert outside of Good Time Donuts, attended my roommate’s dance concert, hung out with people, longboarded, visited Holland State Park, ate at a Mexican restaurant, and went to Starbucks. With all of this, I still was able to accomplish a lot of homework and have fun. 

I think my favorite part about the weekend was visiting the beach at Holland State Park. I had never visited there before, and it was gorgeous. We watched the sunset and walked along the beach. Hopefully I will be able to go to the beach another time this week. I love study breaks! Today, my roommate and I shopped downtown Holland, and we also went to Wal-Mart and Target. Now we are “studying” and trying to accomplish some homework.

I should probably get back to my homework now. I’ll be filling you in more about final week!

Beautiful Sunset!

I love my friends!

Group Shot =]

Fun-filled weekend!

Hello Everyone!

I leave for Easter break in less than 2 hours!!!! Yes, I am so incredibly pumped. School has been crazy busy this past week. I’ll fill you in on what I have been doing.

Friday night: I attended a concert at Lemonjello’s. Some students from Hope were playing, and the band did an awesome job. The place was packed, and everyone was having a good. time. After the concert, I went to JP’s to have some coffee with a big group of friends. Then we all hung out for awhile and decided to take a late IHOP run. The food was so good!

Saturday: Admitted students day! I was able to talk to some seniors in the Kletz about Hope College and get to know them a little bit. It was cool to see all of Hope’s student organization groups placed all around DeWitt. I did not even realize how many different groups and organizations were on campus.

Saturday evening: After the activities fair, my room mate and I chilled in our room and watched the Parent Trap on VCR. Pretty sewer, I know. Later in the evening we went to Subway and then “studied” for a little bit at Starbucks. Once we returned back to Hope, we got ready for Club Durf. Then we danced the night away and had a good time. Club Durf’s theme was “earth” because of earth week. Haha it was pretty sweet. 

Sunday: I attended church and then worked on my stats group project pretty much all day. I also attended the Volunteer Services end of the year banquet and attended one of the last Gatherings of the year. After the gathering, a group us worked on homework in one of the class rooms in the Science Center.  

 Movie Day with the roomie

Concert at Lemonjello’s

Springing into Springtime

Things I like about Spring in Holland:

  • Tulips and flowers are budding
  • I sleep with the window open
  • Frozen/iced coffee drinks from JP’s, Lemonjello’s, and Starbucks 
  • Visiting the beach 
  • Laying in the pinegrove looking at stars
  • Everyone is in high spirits because the cold weather is gone
  • Pulling my bike out of the storage room
  • Snow? What is that?
  • All winter jackets and boots are stored away in my closet
  • Going to get ice cream from Captain Sundae or walking to ColdStone
  • Classes are starting to wind down
  • Wearing shorts, skirts, and flip-flops
  • Spring cleaning (our room needs to be dusted)

These are just some of the things I could think of off the top of my head. School is going very well. My classes are starting to wind down and papers are starting to come. However, I enjoy working on my papers outside and spending time with people in the Pine Grove. Last night several students slept out in the Pine Grove for a homeless sleep-out to raise awareness for homelessness. The event was put on by Habitat for Humanity, and several students participated in the event.

I have been enjoying the nice weather and sunshine. However, I need to do some major work this weekend so I can finish up the school year strong. I hope you all have wonderful weekend!

Spring Package from my mom!