Junior Cornelia Thomas Selected for Newman Civic Fellowship

Junior Cornelia Thomas ’18 has been selected for the 2017 Newman Civic Fellowship, a one-year fellowship for community-committed college students from Campus Compact member institutions in 39 states and Washington D.C. 

Cornelia was nominated by President Darrel. Read his nomination and her personal statement.

Meet Cornelia Thomas ’18

Interviewed by Kenzie Tomes, public relations intern and Apollo High School senior

Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.

Major: Middle School Education

Member of track and field team

Cornelia excels in the classroom and on the field, but where are you most likely to find her this semester?

In the sanctuary. In the last year, Cornelia declared a major in middle school education (writing), placed first in shot put and second in weight throw at her conference track meet and is now tackling a new adventure – youth ministry.

Karlie Griffith, youth minister at Settle Memorial United Methodist Church in Owensboro, reached out to Shawn Tomes, Kentucky Wesleyan’s director of campus ministries, hoping to find an intern. She was looking for someone within the student body who would enjoy shadowing her and working with the kids in their church. Mr. Tomes contacted multiple students he thought might be a good fit, and after praying about the offer, Cornelia stepped up to the plate.

Mrs. Griffith shared, “This internship is providing Cornelia with insight about how middle schoolers think and work outside the classroom. She is very good at thinking on her feet and isn’t afraid to step up and take the leadership role she’s been given.”

Cornelia refers to her internship with Settle Memorial as “God’s calling.” She says, “There was a need, and God helped me fill that need. All I had to do was take the first step.”

When asked what she has learned from the internship experience, Cornelia is quick to respond, “The impact of my example, definitely. These kids listen to me. Since I started, five of them have started throwing discus and shot put for their middle school track teams, just because they heard about it from me.” She adds with emphasis, “You have to learn to accept the calling God gives you.”

Cornelia says her main goal is to make the Bible more relatable to her youth group. By incorporating games with her Bible studies, Cornelia has captured their interest and shown them a fun and entertaining way to learn about God. She is very thankful to Kentucky Wesleyan for providing her with this opportunity, describing the College as a place where, “I wasn’t just a number; the College wants me to succeed as much in the classroom as on the field. It has a real family atmosphere where everyone knows everyone.”

Cornelia will graduate in the fall of 2018 and is eager to share her knowledge of English and God’s word with young kids.