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Jessup University Senior Spotlight Spring 2023

The Crucible of Relationships: Life Lessons from a Residence Assistant

For Edelin Reyes, college is about far more than just earning a degree. It’s about seizing every opportunity to make a positive impact on the relationships God places in your life. Known for her growth mindset and kind spirit, she is a Business (Finance) major, Psychology/Biblical Studies double minor, and graduating senior at Jessup who is committed to going the extra mile to show the love of Jesus to the people around her. 

Forging a New Path

Born in Marin County, Edelin is a first generation student from Guatemala whose parents returned to Central America when she was two years old. However, after visiting family again in later years, she was encouraged to check out schools local to Placer County. Eventually, after mastering English in high school, she decided to move to California permanently in 2019.

“I’m a go-getter,” she admitted with a smile. “I feel like I can always do more. I also heard that college was going to be even busier and so I really wanted to give myself space for my relationship with God.” 

Attending a school that integrates faith into every class was attractive to Edelin. She appreciated the weekly Chapel services, Bible classes, and overall mission to equip transformational leaders for God’s glory. 

“I decided to come to Jessup because it was a small Christian university,” shared Edelin. “The Biblical Studies minor helps ensure you’re still having that connection. Yes, you’re writing papers about books of the Bible, but you’re also learning about the life of Jesus and growing in your relationship with God.   

Living away from family during her college years was not easy. But it pushed her to become more independent economically, mentally, and emotionally. Since joining Jessup’s business program, she interned at a local recruiting firm, worked multiple jobs, and even added on a psychology minor. 

“Edelin has worked very hard to get excellent grades and work several jobs while also helping her family immigrate legally to the country from a distance,” shared PC Walker, Jessup’s Residence Director for the Apartments. “Her story is a testament to God’s hand on your life.”

Learning in Community   

Over the last two years, Edelin had a unique chance to develop her leadership skills while working as a Residence Assistant for The Block. After PC invited her into this role, she stepped into the crucible of residence life, a formative, immersive experience where she learned how to navigate living in close community with a diverse group of students. 

“One of the most valuable things I learned as an R.A. was stepping out of my comfort zone,” shared Edelin.

Among other life lessons, she learned the art of patience and humility, mutual respect, communication strategies, conflict resolution, and seeking to be a true friend in ways that model the love of Jesus. Having weekly one-on-ones with her mentor helped her grow into a more effective servant leader. 

The process wasn’t easy. At times, living with peers can be awkward when you’re in a leadership position. But, ultimately, Edelin believes her time as an R. A. prepared her well for the “real world” after graduation. 

“Just because I grew up one way doesn’t mean the other seven people I live with grew up the same way,” said Edelin. “There are times when those hard conversations tend to strain relationships when you’re enforcing the rules. It might take a couple tries, and it might not go as you envision. And that’s okay. It’s okay to go back to that person and say, ‘I’m sorry, I should not have said that.’ Or ‘I should have said that with different words.’”

Jessup’s close-knit community was a big encouragement to Edelin. Outside of housing life, she also formed little ecosystems across different spheres of campus that challenged and supported her, including the people in her major, fellow library student assistants, professors, and classmates in her Strategic Management class taught by Ken Raskin.   

“The professor in that class makes it fun and interactive. He makes space for jokes and friendships. I have a lot of classes with the same people, which is where part of that sense of community comes from.” 

Growing in Christ 

At Jessup, Edelin’s relationship with God grew and matured through her choice to make intentional time and space to invest in her spiritual life. This is something that may have been harder to practice at a larger state school. Finding small moments when it was just her and Jesus made a big difference. 

“God drew me here,” she said. “I was not only able to grow my relationship with God but also keep it. During my four years here, God met me in my highs and lows. He was in the Prayer Chapel when I cried for prayers to be answered as much as he was with me when I talked to classmates about a multiple choice exam.”

This spring, one of Edelin’s biggest priorities was managing her parents’ travel process in time for her graduation ceremony. After navigating government websites, sending countless emails, and talking with representatives on the phone, she has actively worked to bring her parents to Rocklin for Jessup’s Spring 2023 Undergraduate Commencement. They are set to arrive before the end of the month. 

Edelin’s journey of growth has only just begun. After graduating, she’s excited to use her business degree and leadership experience to develop a meaningful career and lifestyle where she can continue caring for others. 

“At the end of the day, my main goal is to make a positive impact on other people and come home feeling rewarded. Especially in a state like California, that paycheck is needed, of course. But helping others has always been closest to my heart.”


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Pursue your future at Jessup University, a fully accredited, Christ-centered liberal arts university in Northern California. Anchored to the belief that faith and knowledge are not at odds, the University’s mission is to partner with the Church to educate transformational leaders for God’s glory. Jessup shapes people of influence through experiential learning, spiritual formation, and critical thinking—all within a welcoming community and personalized education. Students encounter God’s love throughout their studies and graduate ready for redemptive impact.

You were meant to make a difference. We’ll get you ready.

Learn more and apply here. 

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