Kelli Foster, of Waynesville Mo., became involved with Catholic Campus Ministry her freshman year and is now president of the Newman Council.
“I found a second home at Catholic Campus Ministry,” she said.
Kelli, a marketing major at Southeast, says she is continuously learning about herself, meeting people and finding new opportunities. In summer 2009, Kelli visited Italy with a group of students, community members and the Rev. Patrick Ike Nwokoye, who is a professor, chaplain and director of Catholic Campus Ministry.
While in Rome, Kelli’s favorite city, she attended the Papal Audience and saw Pope Benedict XVI. With the hotel only a five minute walk from the Vatican, she was able to walk to St. Peters Square and tour the main streets. She took in the sights at the Basilica of St. Peter, the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum and the Pantheon.
“I really enjoyed Assisi and visiting the Basilica of St. Francis. The town was very elegant but still felt like home,” she said. “It wasn’t as busy as a huge city and was a nice change of pace. The narrow streets and little shops were great!”
Kelli said she found the best pasta at a family restaurant in Assisi owned by friendly
She built on her experience in Italy by participating in the recent March for Life rally in Washington, D.C. The rally memorializes the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision. Kelli attended the rally with a group from the Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in southern Missouri.
In Catholic Campus Ministry, Kelli says she has found her place at Southeast and invests her time in something for which she is passionate. She says she enjoys going to church and deepening her faith and fellowship.
“All of my best friends are involved and we have a lot of things in common,” she said. “I find the most joy when I am with my friends and learning from them.”
In her free time, Kelli loves to walk. Her favorite places include Trail of Tears State Park, the campus, especially during the fall, and the downtown River Walk where she says she likes to sit down and do homework or read.
“Cape Girardeau is very homey and family-oriented with many parks,” she said.
Kelli’s favorite moments at Southeast include Family Weekend when Catholic Campus Ministry holds Mass on the terraces and lunch afterwards.
“I really enjoy collecting toys for children with Student Santas, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, competing in Canstruction, and supporting events like Empty Bowls, which highlight the giving back aspect of Southeast,” she says.
Kelli found her niche with Catholic Campus Ministry and encourages others to “stay busy and soak up all the experiences they can while at Southeast. Meet new people, challenge yourself and explore the city and surrounding areas,” she says.