Meet Kelly! She’s a funny, bubbly brunette from Connecticut graduating from JMU majoring in Political Science with two minors, Public Policy & Administration and Arabic! She’ll be a graduate in a few short days, but she set her bar set high (pun intended) by attending law school at Washington & Lee in the Fall! I was introduced to Kelly through my cousin, Mary Brooke, who is in the same sorority as Kelly! When she contacted me about taking her senior portraits I was excited! BUT I admit it… I STILL get nervous when I meet clients for the first time. Sure, I chat with them over email, but then actually meeting in person gives me butterflies! Typically we agree on a spot to meet and then when I arrive there’s that awkward distance where you’re walking towards them and you’re not quite close enough to actually start talking so you’re walking with your eyes on each other with a I-acknowledge-you-walking-towards-me smile or in Kelly’s case… she looked up, saw me and gave me the biggest smile and happiest wave! (butterflies gone!) I walked up to her sitting in front of the fountain and we started talking as if we were old friends!
As Kelly and I started walking down towards the James Madison statue, she opened up to me on how she had recently lost her Grandfather and she was mad that he wasn’t going to be there for graduation. She said he was the one that kept saying she was going to be a lawyer even though she kept saying, I don’t know… But Grandfather was persistent saying, nope, you’re going to be a lawyer… and what do you know, she’s going to W&L Law!
Look at this pretty girl!
Nicknames: Kelly Anne (when I’m in trouble with my Mother!)
Hometown: Monroe, CT
Sorority: Alpha Delta Pi
Then, my first question for every college senior…
Why did you choose to attend JMU?:
As a homebody, I never thought I would leave Connecticut, but the moment I stepped onto JMU’s campus I knew I couldn’t just forget about it. There is something about this place that grabs your heart and holds onto it no matter what. For such a big school, it sure feels like you can’t turn a corner without seeing someone that you know.
Favorite class ever taken?:
My favorite class ever would have to be Arabic 101. As a freshman walking into my first Arabic class I was convinced I would fail. Instead, I had an amazing teacher who understood the difficulty of learning the language and allowed me to fall in love with the Arabic culture. I went from thinking I would fail Arabic to getting a minor in it! Not to mention I met my boyfriend of two years, and counting, in that very classroom, God works in mysterious ways!
Favorite Dukes tradition?:
Stealing a brick from the quad before you graduate is my favorite “coming of age” tradition… I love that I’ll always have a part of the school with me.
Favorite JMU memory (or a few)?:
Meeting my current roommate, Aleigh, on move in day freshman year. Walking home from downtown and getting the call that I was being extended a bid into ADPi my sophomore year. Becoming a “regular” at Sushi Jako with my friend, Libby, during our senior year, and basically anything I have ever done with my closest group of sisters. We call ourselves the squad for unknown, but probably embarrassing, reasons.
What do you love about being in your sorority/ what do you like about the sisterhood?:
Without ADPi I would have never met my amazing support group. My three best friends are possibly the best aspect of my ADPi and JMU experiences. Having a group of girls that you know would climb mountains for you no matter what is an indescribable feeling. I have loved being able to volunteer and give back through my sisterhood, but my debt will never be fully paid. I owe this sisterhood much more than I could ever give because ADPi has given me my sisters for life.
My family. My Mom is easily my best friend and confidant. My Dad pushes me constantly to be the best possible version of myself and I owe him the world for it. My sister is the smartest and wisest person I have ever met; I strive to be more and more like her everyday. And last but certainly not least, my brother-in-law, my marine, is the bravest and most selfless person on the planet (I’ve checked). These four amazing people are my motivation and my inspiration.
The Fun Stuff
Name 5 things you couldn’t live without:
What kind of music do you like/Best concert you’ve ever been to?:
I love country music! In high school I actually may have thought I was Taylor Swift even though we look nothing alike and I am not famous…I loved seeing her in concert my senior year of high school with my best friend, I will never forget it!
Plans for the summer?:
In hopes of preparing for law school, I have an internship with a property law firm in CT this summer! I am so fortunate and grateful that I was able to secure this opportunity! I’m thankful to be able to live with my parents again… it’s a huge plus. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “did she just say she wants to live with her parents?!”… YES, I just love them so much!
My dream job is pretty much any kind of advocacy work; I am extremely passionate about women and child advocacy to be specific. I would love to fight for the rights of children and women who need help letting their voices be heard.
Any advice for incoming freshman or rising seniors?
My advice to incoming freshman is don’t freak out! Don’t think you have to have everything figured out. Life is an ever-changing journey that is gonna throw you some curves! My advice to rising seniors is just to be in touch with your feelings. I know that sounds sappy! But if you’re sad be sad, if you’re really insanely happy, dance around! If you’re scared, tell someone. If you bottle up all the emotions that are bound to come with senior year you may have a mental breakdown two weeks from graduation on your bedroom floor clinging to a bag of sour patch kids…
What are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming year?:
There are so many new beginnings that will take place this upcoming year, but what I am looking forward to the most right now is running my first half marathon in June! I am so excited to see what lies ahead for me in the world of running!
Lastly, what can you do today that you didn’t think you could do a year ago?
Go to law school! This time last year I would have never dreamed that I would be able to get into an amazing school like W&L and actually love it! This year has been a rough journey, but I have proven to myself that I can truly accomplish anything I set my mind to.
I had so much fun getting to know Kelly! I have no doubt she will do great things! Congratulations, Kelly!