Minneapolis-native Kelly Ferguson looks forward to graduating this spring, earning her bachelor’s at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Business. After being heavily involved in high school in activities that included the volleyball team, National Honors Society and the school musical, she was excited to attend Saint Mary’s because of all of the academic and extracurricular opportunities that were available.

“It’s not just the opportunities that college gives you in what you want to do with your life, and what you can contribute to the world, but also how to grow as a person. I saw college as something that could fulfill both of those,” Ferguson says. After she visited Saint Mary’s in Winona twice during her senior year of high school, she knew the campus felt like home, motivating her to ultimately enroll.

Ferguson has been a tutor and a peer learning assistant on campus, helping other students develop their time management and note taking, among other skills. Along with helping others, she credits the experience with sharpening her own approach to her academics.

Financial aid has been instrumental, she notes. “It has made a huge difference in my life and my parent’s lives since they are helping pay for my education. It is less stress for them, less worrying for me and it has allowed me to go to a great school like Saint Mary’s. It’s a place I know I’m going to miss when I graduate.”

A piece of advice Kelly has for prospective students is to be open to many opportunities that come their way. She believes it really pays off to agree to try new things and explore opportunities. This includes being able to step outside one’s comfort zone and remaining in community with a campus that has taught her so much about being a well-rounded, compassionate person.  

“I’ve really picked up on the importance of being kind to people, even in small ways,” Ferguson says. “That’s something I’m going to take with me after I graduate as it’s an important thing to remember in a world like this.”