Merideth Stroh (center) and friends at an event of the university's campus Christian group.
“I saw the scholarship as an affirmation of support from God. I knew He really wanted me to be in school, and He will help me get through it. One of my needs to accomplish this was financial, so that was one of the many ways God came through for me, as He always will.” These are the words of Willamette Student and United Methodist Student Day offering Scholar Merideth Stroh.
Merideth is a lifelong United Methodist from Woodinville, Washington. “My mom is a Registered Nurse, and my dad is an electrical technician. I lived in the small city of Woodinville, Washington where my parents and I attended Bear Creek UMC. As an only child with two parents who worked full time, I often felt lonely. I found joy though by getting involved in my church youth group, with God directing me to keep getting further involved,” said Merideth.
Merideth’s home congregation and annual conference offered her plenty of encouragement and opportunities to pursue her passions. “Through mentorship with my first youth leader and involvement with district and conference youth teams, I developed self-confidence and learned leadership skills. I was able to travel to the Global Young People’s Legislative Conference as well. My experiences at Annual Conference contributed to my interest in politics, which I am currently studying at a United Methodist university,” said Merideth.
Merideth took those experiences from growing up in the Church with her to college and is applying what she learned to her studies and interests as a student at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. “I have been blessed with amazing professors who are willing to do anything to help their students pursue their dreams. While I’m not there yet, my academic advisor has given me guidance and advice in discovering what I feel called to do,” said Merideth. Merideth is also active in a number of extracurricular activities. She’s publicity chair of the Willamette Events Board and Director of Finance for her sorority, Delta Gamma.
Group shot of Stroh (1st row: second from right--bending over) at the (Pacific Northwest) Young Adult Retreat.
Like many students Merideth was looking for any available scholarships or aid to help her pursue her career goals in college. Turns out the same denomination that nurtured and inspired her as a child and youth, stepped up to help her again in the form of a scholarship through The United Methodist Student Day Offering. “When I first started looking for scholarships, I saw ones for other churches and denominations. I was curious if the United Methodist Church did as well, and I was happy to find the Gift of Hope Scholarship,” said Merideth.
Merideth is one of many students who receive help paying for school every year thanks to support from United Methodist Student Day. Every year United Methodist congregations across the country are invited to collect a special offering for faithful and deserving students everywhere. This scholarship is away the Church continues to watch over its youth and young adults as they mature in their faith and aspirations.
“We students are very grateful for this blessing. The church can literally be the hands of God in delivering such a blessing. I plan to rely on my faith to seek out needs in the world and combine them with my passions to serve God’s children. I do not have a precise plan yet, but I know that when the time comes, I will find my direction,” said Merideth.
You can help faithful students like Merideth pursue their calling by making an offering to United Methodist Student Day. Churches are encouraged to make a special collection every year, but individuals can donate online any time just by clicking Click here.
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— story by Phillip Brooks, freelance writer in Nashville, TN
Your United Methodist Student Day gifts help students continue their education and their faith journey as they strive to make a difference in the world and discern what God has planned for them. Please give generously to the United Methodist Student Day offering. Remember you can give online anytime of the year.