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Know how to refill your cup

Emily Beck ’15 on the next phase of her Carondelet journey.
  • Emily Beck smiles in a lab coat

Just because someone graduates from Carondelet, doesn’t mean their Carondelet journey is over, and it definitely doesn’t mean they are done learning. That’s especially true for Emily Beck ’15.

“It’s an exploration,” she said, trying to describe what life has felt like since graduating from high school. “An exploration of developing greater independence through learning how to live on your own, manage your finances, get a job, balance a social life, and self-care.”

She explained that it seems like this learning and evolving doesn’t end, no matter how old someone gets. “No matter if you are speaking with a 25-year-old or 42-year-old, they all feel the same way, ‘I should have it all figured out by now, but I still feel like I don’t,” Emily said.

After Carondelet, she started at UCLA, undeclared, and spent her first two years taking a variety of classes to find what her fit would be. “I loved the sciences,” she said. “inspiration first struck in Mrs. Orr’s biology and anatomy classes,” Emily explained. Despite that early inspiration, it wasn’t until she took a course in bio ethics that she realized how much a multi-disciplinary approach was what inspired her. Looking for a way to combine math, science, and the impact it has at a societal level, she graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Human Biology and Society.

From there, she decided to step out of academia and complete a year of service. She was hired as the Community Outreach Lead from THRIVE, a program she was matched to through the Jesuit Volunteer Core Northwest Program. Emily spent a year helping to connect people with resources like food, showers, housing, etc. “It is an incredibly humbling and eye-opening experience, and I accepted a full-time position as the Health Outreach Lead and Community Advocate at Central Oregon Community College,” she said.

Having spent time in service, though, she was inspired to take her call to serve and help to the next level. She now finds herself back in the Bay Area at the University of San Francisco pursuing a degree in nursing.

Her path through education and service are lines directly connected to her time at Carondelet. From her involvement in track and field, cross country, peer counselor, and choir, Emily recognized that having a team was very important to her. In college, she found similar, female-centric spaces that appealed to her interests and fostered those same values of the community. “Having a team was very important to me,” she explained. “All of the organizations I’ve been part of gave me a sense of belonging and purpose in a very large college community. As someone who struggled with the transition to college, my goal was to help make people feel welcome and included,” shared Emily.

Her memories of Carondelet are fond ones—early morning cross-country practices, calculus with Mr. Ohwell, dressing up for spirit days.

As she reflects on where her life has brought her so far, her advice to the next generation of Carondelet students is this: Know what brings you joy. “What refills your cup is important, so you can give your best each day without feeling empty,” Emily shared. “Get comfortable not knowing all the answers and focus on the best way to be the truest, authentic version of yourself.”

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