For Flo (Faris) Blackwood, choosing a college was a tough decision. Distance, choice of major, off-campus opportunities and cost were all factors in the struggle, but her faith was what made her choose Christ-centered education at Geneva College.
But even after Flo arrived on campus, she had plenty of decisions to make. One of the hardest things she faced was leaving her home in Indiana, over six hours away. "Being away from my family was very difficult for me," Flo says. "I′m very close to my family, especially my parents and sisters, and am a very family-oriented person."
As a freshman, Flo decided that living off campus would be the right thing for her to do. Though most freshmen are required to live on campus or at home, she was graciously invited to live in the home of a faculty member. He and his family attend her church on College Hill and often had students stay with them.
"I thought I might miss out on some of the dorm life but I really don′t. I can still be in the dorms but I have a quiet room to myself which is perfect for me," she says.
Before coming to Geneva, Flo had an idea of what she wanted to study, but that quickly began to change when she got involved with her courses. She switched majors several times, trying to discover how she could serve God best with her gifts and talents. Finally, she settled on the human services field.
"As I grew up, I saw my mom working with women on probation and that was a huge influence on my decision," she says. "I finally realized that this is a career path where I can help people and truly make a difference. I love people and, with this degree, I can help them turn their lives around."
Flo says she received a lot of encouragement from faculty in the counseling, psychology and human services department, especially Professor Stephanie Schindel. "Her passion and excitement have really been an influential factor in my major. I′m so excited to enter the workforce in order to serve God and make an impact for Him in this world."
- By Sarah Phillips
Flo graduated from Geneva College in May 2010.