Linsey Peterson, Geneva Class of 2012, is the alumna spotlighted in the fourth quarter edition of the 2017-2018 The Eagle Eye. Here are her responses to a standard set of questions given to an alumnus each quarter.
Please give a current update on yourself (college/graduation year, major, work/career, family, other interests, service or hobbies).
I graduated with a B.A. in Latin from Hillsdale College in 2016. I am currently working online towards a M.A. in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University while working full-time as a Development Assistant for the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art in New York City. Outside of work, I play on a city volleyball team in Stamford, Connecticut (where I currently live), work on a snow cone truck, volunteer at my church and serve as a local Young Life leader.
In what ways did your Geneva education/training prepare you for the work you are doing now?
I am grateful for the way that Geneva taught me to reason and write. Especially in fundraising, you are constantly trying to articulate your mission to others, so it was helpful to already know how express my thoughts concisely and effectively!
Please describe the most significant value you learned from Geneva.
The most important thing that I learned from Geneva is the value of Christian community. Who you surround yourself with matters, and in real life it can take considerable effort to find a loving and Christ-centered community like your Geneva family.
How would you encourage Rhetoric students to make the most of their Geneva years?
Work hard. Take notes in your books so you can read them later and learn from your high school self. Say “yes” to the spontaneous lunches, hiking trips or whatever it may be with your classmates—let them be your family and learn from their unique experiences in the time that you have!
Describe Geneva in one word. Explain.
Aspire. Geneva fosters the kind of environment that makes you want to be better—a better person, a better student, a better friend. Yet in my experience, it didn’t do this through judgment or guilt tripping, but by affirming the God-given gifts in its students, encouraging them to grow and flourish in their own unique way.
Please share one or two of your Geneva extracurricular activities and then contrast that with one or two of your current non-work activities.
Being part of a small group (whether a book study or Bible study) has continued to be very influential in my life, as it connects me with peers as well as adult mentors. Again, it’s all about community!
What are your future career goals and how do you feel prepared for them? How has Geneva been a thread that has connected you to your work now and what you see yourself doing in the future?
I hesitate to look too far into the future because I realize I have the tendency to limit God’s plans with my expectations. Even so, my goal for now is to keep working in fundraising and/or events for a mission driven nonprofit. Without the friends and teachers at Geneva who loved me for who I was and encouraged me to break out of my shell, I doubt that I would have so comfortably embraced the extraverted parts of my personality that make me enjoy the people-centric parts of non-profit development.
What is something you have learned/are learning about yourself and God’s world?
Living in the Northeast is hard. It’s hard to find Christian community (especially people my age), it’s hard not to compare yourself to others, it’s hard to be far from family and it’s hard not to be consumed by careers and ambitions. Even still, I’ve learned that God provides even in the chaos, and He has called us to be present and invest in our communities, no matter where that might be. I really struggled to invest in my community when I first moved here, because I was afraid to think of living here as anything but temporary. But with this mindset, I actually isolated myself instead of protecting myself. I have since made a conscious effort to be open to where God might place me in life, and it has allowed me to meet incredible people and invest in my community in ways that would not have been possible with my previous attitude.