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Valerie Gibbs ('11)

Dingledine Scholar

Photo: Valerie Gibbs ('11)

Valerie has devoted herself to being the change since middle school. As a youngster, she discovered the World Changers program sponsored by the North American Mission Board and became actively involved in its efforts to eliminate substandard housing for many communities while giving participants a hands-on mission experience. She has been on three life-changing expeditions and says, "Overall, these trips have made me grow so much. Helping people is seriously one of the best things you could ever do with your life." She credits her parents with setting the example of getting involved in the lives of others. At Madison, she's following their example, mentoring middle- and high-school students and raising funds for AIDS victims through Intervarsity and Young Life, two Christian organizations on campus. A theater major and a music industry minor, she plans to find a job that surrounds her with people, touching as many lives as she possibly can: "I want to be a part of making a difference in the lives of others."

"I love seeing the faces of the people we help. Often times, people don't understand why others would give up a week of their life, or even a single day, just to come help them out. Just knowing that they appreciate your presence is such a great feeling."