Students Speak on the Essence of Change - Christopher Newport University


Students Speak on the Essence of Change

Nine Captains take to the stage to share their experiences during annual SPEAK CNU event.

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Rich Nicolas
Rich Nicolas

What is the essence of change? To nine CNU students it means something different, and each one took the stage during the annual SPEAK CNU event, a TED Talk style event where students speak about their life experiences.

This year’s theme was “the essence of change.” To Clark Johnson ’17, one of the event’s organizers, change is a moment of awakening. “There are a lot of moments in my life where I feel my shoulders have been shaken. Because of that there is something different that happens, a change in path,” he says.

To senior psychology major Rich Nicolas, change is a time of struggle with the unfamiliar aspects of life. Nicolas talked about a powerful quote his dad used to say to him and how the message gets him through his struggles with college life. “‘Your situation will change when you change; you have to grow and become more so you can do and have more,’” Nicolas recounts. “Change is hard, change is struggle, change is unfamiliar, but with change also comes strength, courage, and most importantly growth.”

Another student spoke about an initiative he has launched, The DeGood Foundation, and how nonprofit work is implementing change within the community. “To me, the essence of change has a lot to do with progress, hope and love. The essence of change can be seen and felt all throughout campus. Students make differences in their own lives and the lives of others, overall making our community better and brighter each day,” says sophomore business major Kyle DeGood.

The event gave students the opportunity to speak on life experiences in a fast-paced environment that also offered networking opportunities. “This event allows for the student body to come together and support one another in pursuing what a university is about, that is the growth of individuals. Especially at CNU, we are about shaping the heart and the mind. I feel like this is a combination of both,” says Johnson.

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