Zoe Swann | Student Story

Zoe Swann | Student Story

A Jessup education isn’t just about tests, books and chapel. It’s a transformative experience that equips students for the glory of God. When recent graduate Zoe Swann transferred to Jessup as a sophomore, she was a bit of a self-described wallflower. “I used to be shy and pretty introverted,” she said. “I made a very conscious decision to put myself out there when I joined campus ministries welcome team. That small step opened so many doors for me, even to the point where I now consider myself extroverted!”

Swann certainly made the most of her college years, engaging in experiences to grow spiritually. Her first student worker position was in the Career and Life Planning office where she helped students develop resumes, cover letters and take career-related assessments. She also managed social media and events. “The experience helped me identify and pursue many of the qualities I apply to my leadership skills,” she said. Swann originally declared psychology as her major but changed to Christian leadership.

Also serving as Jessup’s local outreach intern, Swann planned events and advised students to better understand the importance of developing a lifetime of service. “Helping students live out their faith in acts of service was so inspiring to me,” Swann said. “It opened my eyes to working in full-time ministry.” 

Crediting her professors for pouring into her to stretch and build her faith, Swann especially enjoyed her leadership courses. “One of the main takeaways I’ve learned from my classes is to be a healthy leader, you have to be healthy yourself,” the Loma Rica native said. “I’ve learned a lot about myself which has been really impactful.”

Recognizing her passion for ministry, and the impact her high school youth group had on her, Swann jumped at the opportunity to assist Bridgeway Christian Church where she interned with their high school ministry team. Building relationships with over 100 students each week, Swann has an optimistic outlook. “I notice most of the kids in our group really want to be there. It’s so encouraging to see a younger generation that wants to grow strong in their faith.”

During her senior year, she took on a brand new role with campus ministries serving as the inaugural women’s discipleship intern. In this highly social role, Swann worked hard to build relationships with female students, getting to know them on a more personal level, while providing encouragement and guidance along their spiritual walk. “It’s so important to have good theological conversations with people your own age,” she said. “I wanted to be able to create a safe space for girls to get together to be themselves and build genuine relationships. I’ve always been considered the ‘counselor’ type of friend or the one to look to for advice. I love helping people and have a gift for listening to them as well.”

Attending Jessup also cultivated her love for missions. Last summer she was part of the Middle East missions team that provided ministry and administrative assistance at a local library, helped with children’s programming, put on a conference for local educators and ministered in the community. “These experiences helped me recognize that Jesus has given me His eyes to see people how He sees them, which gives me a greater ability to love others.”