#BaylorLights Profile: Kaley VanValkenburg

January 8, 2019
Kaley VanValkenburg
“When I came into Baylor, my parents had just filed for divorce, so that mission trip [Baylor Line Camp Guatemala] was a big answer to a prayer of needing guidance in my spiritual relationship.

“I wasn’t really myself the first few days on that trip, I felt very out of my comfort zone and I was struggling with my relationship with Christ, seeing other people who were much more confident in theirs. I finally just kind of told people, ‘Look, I’ve been carrying this weight for the past four months now, and I haven’t really shared it with anyone.’ That’s when I realized the importance of vulnerability. That was when I was able to finally have fun on that trip and make actual meaningful connections. I’m still friends with several people who I went on that trip with my freshman year, and that kind of just snowballed for me, being able to be vulnerable with people, and respecting vulnerability and encouraging vulnerability in others.

“Whenever I returned as a student leader, I made that a priority for my campers, to see me be vulnerable so that they might in return think it’s okay to share themselves with a group of people, because yes, it’s really scary, but it’s also a really big growing experience. So, by admitting my struggles, I met people going through the same thing. You don’t meet those people unless you talk about it. Vulnerability has kind of been the keyword of my college experience.”

Kaley VanValkenburg
-- Senior biology/neuroscience major
-- Vice president, Baylor Pre-Veterinary Medicine Association
-- Fort Worth, TX
-- One of thousands of #BaylorLights
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