Our special MSJ students share their testimonials since choosing Mount St. Joseph University.

  Kaylee Ferguson

Throughout my time here at the Mount, I have transformed from a shy and timid teenager to a confident and courageous young adult. I have been given every opportunity to push myself outside of my comfort zone. Growing up in my small community, I was familiar with service and helping others through food pantries, clothing drives, and holiday sponsorships. This was something that I was passionate about and looked forward to continuing this work in my adult life.


When researching what college I wanted to apply to, the Mount stood out to me for their Mission and Ministry work and the numerous opportunities to serve others. As a freshman entering college in the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I spent a lot of time on the computer reading over what MSJ had to offer me. I kept lingering on their service opportunities. I was excited to potentially join others in working with Habitat for Humanity, to go on service trips to help people in need, or even just the annual Service Day where the campus community gathered to serve the Cincinnati community.


In the beginning as a Mount student, I began my journey of service here by serving at the Be Concerned food and donation pantry, as well as working closely with Mission Integration through their events as a Mission Ambassador. Joining the Mission Ambassador program was undoubtedly the best decision I made for myself in these last few years. I have met such amazing people who encouraged me to push my boundaries and dream big. In the short time that I have been a student here at Mount St. Joseph University, I have spoken at the national conference for the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities for my involvement with a program advocating for social justice, I have travelled across state lines for a week long service trip to help build houses for those in need in the Appalachian area through CAP (Christian Appalachian Project), I have led service opportunities and spent hundreds of hours working with the Mission Ambassadors on campus.


I have been blessed beyond compare to be involved in the campus community and witness the great work that MSJ does to help the lives of those in need. I am so glad that I made the choice to be an MSJ Lion all those years ago. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the support and mentorship I have received during my time here.

  Julia Perez

My journey to Mount St. Joseph University is a little untraditional from most kids. In high school I was very involved with clubs and sports. I was a thrower on our track and field team and I loved it, things were great. Then my junior year happened and things changed. I had known for a while that I wasn’t mentally okay all the time, and I started having panic attacks my freshman year of high school. They got worse as my stress got worse. I always tended to stress over everything, but now it had gotten so bad that I was having panic attacks on a daily basis. My junior year, I was heavily involved in school, and I took on a lot more than I could handle, and my stress got really bad. I ended up dropping out of school because my anxiety got really bad, but I had also developed depression and the environment of my school was not the greatest.


I had given up on my dream of graduating high school or going to college. Though I am 3 hours away from MSJ, I have visited this school every year since my freshman year of high school. It was on the top of my list for colleges because it had such a great environment that you could feel when you came on visits. But when I dropped out junior year, I thought I would never get in and I might as well give up.


I was convinced to go back to high school for my senior year and I did. During the beginning of my senior year, I came and visited MSJ again. I was fairly certain I would never get in, but I just had a feeling that I should come. I ended up meeting with my track coach Tina Blakely and the assistant coach at the time, Sam Fowler. They were the most amazing people that I had ever met. I will state to everyone for the rest of my life that Coach Tina is the reason I am here today. I never really planned to throw in college, my only goal at the moment was to graduate high school. I had spoken with Coach Tina about how I was barely going back to school and how I didn’t even know if I was graduating. She did not care about my past, she cared about what I was doing now to make my dreams come true and was talking to me about how not to give up. After my visit, I had more hope that I would graduate, but I still didn’t believe that I would get into MSJ. In my head, coach Tina was a person you meet once, and will never hear from again. I was very wrong, she ended up checking up on me at least once a month. She never let me believe that I couldn’t get in and so I applied to college because of her. I had applied to 4 other colleges and I got into all of them.


So, when it came down to my decision of where to go, MSJ was the school I wanted to go to. I wanted to come here because Coach Tina never gave up on me and she believed in me even though she knew I had dropped out, which I always felt would hold me back. I came here because of my coach, not because I wanted to throw for her, but because she believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself and I owe her a lot whether she knows it or not. I did end up being on the track and field team as well, but I love the sport. I still deal with anxiety and sometimes it does get the best of me, but there are people all around me at MSJ that help me. With the support given to me at this school, I became President of Rainbow Alliance, Vice-President of Student Government Association and many more. I know I wouldn’t have done any of this without the family environment that this school has. I would not be on the route to be a Pediatric Surgeon, which is a big goal, without the people here to help guide me.


My dream job is one of the hardest to achieve and no one here has told me that I wouldn’t make it, they never tell me to think smaller. This school supports me dreaming big and helps me have the tools to be successful. I am truly grateful for the people here that have helped me get to my sophomore year of college, when I didn’t even think I was going to graduate high school a couple years ago.

  Emma Godfrey

The decision on where to go to college was not an easy one for me. It took months of research, discussions with my friends and family, and self-reflection to be able to make the most meaningful decision for my future. Eventually, I was able to see that I prefer a smaller circle with strong and extremely meaningful relationships. I needed a warm, caring environment where there are people who truly care about not only your academic success, but your emotional and personal success as well. That is exactly what The Mount has been able to provide for me. In this environment, I have been able to thrive socially though my involvement with Mission Ambassadors and University Choir, but also academically, with the incredible nursing program this University provides. With mentors and faculty support found around every corner, I never feel like I am alone in this experience. I have been able become closer with God, come out of my shell, and even felt supported enough to volunteer myself for leadership opportunities. I am so proud of the person The Mount has helped me become.


Not only has The Mount impacted who I am as a person, but that experience has then pushed me to impact the community around me. My involvement with Mission Ambassadors has allowed me to create lasting relationships with people who truly exemplify the Mission of Mount St. Joseph. In this community, we push each other to better ourselves, our university, and our surrounding community. Through bimonthly meetings, spearheading and participating in campus events, retreats, and service in the Cincinnati area, we have been able to bring the Mission of the Mount to life. I am so thankful that I chose to attend Mount St. Joseph.

  Sydney Etris

When I was thinking about where to go to college, I think it was safe to say that Mount St. Joseph University was always my top choice. I felt welcomed with open arms and I could feel the community spirit that radiates all throughout campus daily. On top of that, the nursing department at the Mount is incredible and is known for their high passing rates on the NCLEX. I also have many family ties here at the Mount. My mom, dad, aunt, and uncle all graduated from the Mount and my sister is a senior this year. The Mount just felt like home from the moment I stepped on campus, and I knew this would be the college where I would have the most success academically and socially.


I am now a sophomore at the Mount, and the past year and a half has been some of the best times of my life. I am part of the Mission Ambassador program here at the Mount and it has allowed me to make so many friendships with people from all different grades, majors, and backgrounds. I have had tremendous success with the Nursing program already, and we are about to start clinicals in the fall. I have also met my best friends here at the Mount and I have been able to develop amazing relationships with my professors. Mount St. Joseph University is truly my second home and I spend every day thanking God that he led me to the Mount!

  Taylor Whitehead

When choosing Mount Saint Joseph University, I was particularly drawn to the ability to receive a nursing degree through a faith-based institution. Not only did the Mount provide me with the resources of being near Downtown Cincinnati for clinical exposure, but I was also excited to know that I would soon be a part of this campus that many called “home.” Since I have been at the Mount, I have chosen to give back to my school and community by being a Mission Ambassador, which is also a scholarship opportunity given through the Office of Mission Integration.


This has allowed me to be part of a group that is focused on campus ministry activities and service opportunities, both on and off campus, all while forming a family-like bond with the other Ambassadors. Because our surroundings make up so much of who we are, I know that the Mount is exactly where I need to be. I am proud to be a MSJ Lion and I am thankful for my professors, friends, and the staff and employees who have made my experience here so worthwhile.