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Anna Baird is a junior criminal justice major and political science minor from Stockbridge. Her family moved to Breckenridge, Colorado, during her senior year of high school, creating a unique situation for Anna.

Anna said, “This is one of the many factors that played a role in my choice to choose Olivet. When my family moved, I realized I needed a college that would feel like home that had people who would treat me like family, and that is what I found at Olivet.” She was also struck by the welcome she got while visiting campus during high school.

“I chose Olivet College on a visit during my senior year of high school,” Anna said. “On that visit, I met a student who was on the women’s soccer team at the time. I specifically remember how kind and welcoming she was to me. She told me that choosing Olivet was one of the best decisions she had ever made, and she really thought I should play soccer. I realized that was what I wanted to do, too.”

Anna chose criminal justice to make the world a better place. “I want to help people who are hurting,” she said. “After I graduate, I want to teach students who have been in trouble with the law and help them find a positive path in life. After that, I eventually want to go to law school and become a defense attorney. People  commit crimes when they are hurt, and I want to help the world recognize that nobody is completely ‘bad,’ even if they have committed crimes.”

Anna is a member of the women’s soccer team as well as the Criminal Justice Honor Society (CJHS). “I was recently accepted into CJHS. I applied because I love studying criminal justice and want to connect with people in my major who want to work as hard as I do and learn how to make the world a better place,” she said.

To help prepare for her future career, Anna recently volunteered at the Crosswalk Teen Center in Charlotte where she worked to be a positive influence in young teens’ lives. “I helped them with homework, listened to their stories, baked cookies with them and played games together,” she described. “This changed me as a person because it gave me the chance to give back to the community, meet new people and challenge myself to do an activity I have not previously done.”

Anna speaks of Dr. Regina Armstrong, criminal justice program director and associate professor, and Doug Carter, head soccer coach, as two special mentors of hers at Olivet.

“Dr. Armstrong has encouraged me to take more difficult classes and challenge myself in my studies, and she has always made a genuine effort to get to know me and help me learn as much as she can,” Anna said. “She has a very kind, giving heart and if you put in the effort, she will help you become the best you can be.”

Of Coach Carter, Anna talks about experiencing Olivet together. “My first year was his first year coaching at Olivet,” she said. “Coach Carter has pushed me to be the best athlete that I can be and the best person that I can be. He truly cares about his athletes on and off the field. He is one of the first people I tell when I do something I am proud of. He has always been there to encourage me, push me and help me become my best self.”

Anna earned the Sophomore Outstanding Achievement in Criminal Justice Award during Honors Week. She said, “This meant a lot to me because it made me feel like my hard work has been recognized. It was very special to receive it from Dr. Armstrong, who I sincerely admire and respect. It felt good to end a difficult semester with this award.”

“My advice to high school students is this: don’t pick a school based on its name,” she said. “Don’t pick a school based on where your friends are going. Pick a school that you genuinely love, no matter if it has a large campus or a small campus. Pick a school that has opportunities to better yourself, whether that’s through a specific major, going on service trips or having opportunities to challenge yourself. At Olivet College, there will always be people to help you. There will always be opportunities to do service trips, service learning and other activities to make you a better person. I would encourage students to attend Olivet College because, at sporting events, you’re cheering for your friends. Olivet College is a close-knit community.”

“My experience as a Comet has made me who I am today,” Anna said. “At Olivet, I have had the opportunity to pursue two of my greatest passions: criminal justice and soccer. Being a Comet has given me opportunities to excel in both of these passions, and I would have not had that chance at other schools.”

Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

This feature was written by senior Leah Miller, marketing and communications student intern. She is a writing and history double major and a music minor, a field commander of the Marching Comets and a member Alpha Lambda Epsilon Literary Society. After college, she aspires to use her writing to educate people about different cultures and work to normalize embracing differences, potentially in a field related to intercultural relations.

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