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MY STORY

THE STORIES OF WILLIAM JESSUP UNIVERSITY

“As soon as I stepped foot on campus, a sense of peace came over me. After I attended chapel and some workshops, I knew that Jessup was where I wanted to be.”

Hector Hernandez | Jessup Student

Striving to Better Her Community, One Kid at a Time

Last fall, sophomore Kaitlin Riffel arrived on the Jessup campus with a unique set of skills already on her resume. When she was just eight years old, Kaitlin founded the non-profit known as Kids on a Mission. Her vision began when she visited a local rescue mission serving the homeless. Kaitlin was so moved, she began selling oranges and making small donations to support their cause.

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Kaitlin Riffel | Jessup Student

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One of the reasons I chose Jessup is because of the depth here and the way the curriculum incorporates Jesus into every subject.

Kaitlin Riffel | Jessup Student

Moriah Maddelena | Jessup Alumna (’20)

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Finding an Opportunity to Flourish

Despite the apprehension she felt to pursue her college journey close to home, recent graduate Moriah Maddalena is confident about the decision she made four years ago to earn her Biology degree with a Pre-Allied Health concentration at William Jessup University.

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Attending a university that integrates faith with learning profoundly impacted me. I had professors who shared their passion for Christ, prayed before class and particularly important in the field of science, showed me scientific evidence surrounding God’s creation.

Moriah Maddelena | Jessup Alumna (’20)

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Pioneering His Way
Hector Hernandez

As a first-generation college student hailing from a small town in Northern California, Jessup sophomore Hector Hernandez found himself blending seamlessly into the Jessup community. The former soccer player from Yuba Community College, first learned about Jessup when his school scrimmaged the Warrior soccer team. A few months later, an ad for Jessup’s Warrior Day appeared on his Instagram feed so he decided to spend a day as a prospective student at the Rocklin campus. “As soon as I stepped foot on campus, a sense of peace came over me. After I attended chapel and some workshops, I knew that Jessup was where I wanted to be.”

Hector describes making the transition to Jessup as a transfer student an easy one even though he is the first member of his family to attend college. “I felt like a pioneer, because I was so unfamiliar with the process of applying to a four-year university and none of my friends went to college. I was navigating uncharted territory,” he said. “Jessup’s financial aid counselors made everything so easy for me and also told me about various scholarship opportunities so I could apply to those as well.”

While at Jessup, Hector has been impressed with the way faculty engages with students. From providing additional resources to help students grasp course material to offering suggestions for tutors, Hector appreciates his learning environment. “I remember getting back to my dorm and asking other students if they were experiencing the same thing, and sure enough, they were. I’ve even had faculty bring coffee to class for their students!”

The Business Management major is passionate about training and empowering others to resolve conflict and learn to work effectively within an organization. “I just want to make myself available to others to help them reach their goals and improve their business relation-ships,” the gentle-spirited 20-year-old said. “I think that working through conflict helps people become more real.”

Eager to plug-in to the Jessup community, Hector became a member of the Campus Ministries Welcome Team as well as Jessup’s Orientation and Engagement committee where he had the chance to host Jessup’s first-ever virtual Preview Day. The event was held in response to COVID-19’s requirement to shelter in place and allowed prospective students to learn more about academics, spiritual growth and campus activities.

Hector also found time to join Jessup’s Preaching Club led by Jim Jessup. He believes that one of the greatest privileges of believers is to be used by God. He is thrilled to have the privilege to grow and learn in his ability to preach God’s Word. Hector put it this way, “I’ve had the opportunity to preach at some of Jessup’s partner churches and it has been humbling to not only have the support of my family in the audience but also to have people come up to me after the service to tell me they are encouraged by the younger generation.”

“Honestly, I am thriving here at Jessup and I am loving it,” Hector said. “I think that sharing Christ as the foundation of my relationships has made this year the best I have experienced thus far.”

Hector is already looking forward to next year when he will be putting on a new hat, serving as a resident assistant on campus at Tiffin Hall.

Striving to Better Her Community, One Kid at a Time
Kaitlin Riffel

Last fall, sophomore Kaitlin Riffel arrived on the Jessup campus with a unique set of skills already on her resume. When she was just eight years old, Kaitlin founded the non-profit known as Kids on a Mission. Her vision began when she visited a local rescue mission serving the homeless. Kaitlin was so moved, she began selling oranges and making small donations to support their cause.

As time progressed, her efforts expanded and she encouraged her friends to help raise $80,000 to build a playground at a shelter for women and children. Under Kaitlin’s direction, the kids organized bake sales, Christmas boutiques, lemonade stands, recycling, and other projects to raise funds to meet their goal. When the project was complete, the kids wanted to do more which is how Kids on a Mission began.

To her credit, the organization continues to effectively empower and grow up young leaders who communicate effectively and make a difference in local communities and beyond. Some of the projects Kids on a Mission has been involved with include ensuring clean water in third-world countries, and various service projects ranging from helping senior citizens to providing backpacks filled with much needed school supplies to thousands of kids nationally and internationally.

The organization has also hosted five mission trips to Costa Rica over the years, a component of the nonprofit Kaitlin still oversees while attending Jessup and hopes to do for the sixth time this winter. “Last year we had 24 people on our mission trip,” Kaitlin said. “On our last day, 191 kids attended the VBS program where we served 250 meals.”

Weighing heavy on Kaitlin’s heart this year is the word “surrender.” She senses God calling her to fully commit to living for Him which means taking a back seat to the day-to-day activities her nonprofit requires. “I’ve left everything in good hands though,” Kaitlin said. “My mom is serving as CEO and teams are in place to keep the organization running smoothly.”

As a Christian Leadership major, Kaitlin is open to where the Lord is leading her and passionate about growing her relationship with Him. “One of the reasons I chose Jessup is because of the depth here and the way the curriculum incorporates Jesus into every subject.” One of her favorite courses has been her missions course because she believes it will better equip her for continued success on her next mission trip to Costa Rica.

Finding an Opportunity to Flourish
Moriah Maddalena

Despite the apprehension she felt to pursue her college journey close to home, recent graduate Moriah Maddalena is confident about the decision she made four years ago to earn her Biology degree with a Pre-Allied Health concentration at William Jessup University.

Last May, Moriah had much to celebrate when she earned her bachelor of science degree and applied to various medical school’s including Loma Linda University and UC Davis, two of her top choices. “My education at Jessup helped me to be well prepared for the Medical College Admission Test,” Moriah said. “The academic rigor I received in my science courses was tough and taught me to focus and study difficult material.”

During her junior year at Jessup, Moriah’s pursuit to become a doctor was solidified after much deliberation to ensure she was following God’s call on her life. “Getting a Christian education was important to me and has been a pinnacle part of my Jessup journey,” she said. “Attending a university that integrates faith with learning profoundly impacted me. I had professors who shared their passion for Christ, prayed before class and particularly important in the field of science, showed me scientific evidence surrounding God’s creation.”

Soon Moriah began to understand she had the tenacity to pursue becoming a doctor. She also received encouragement from her father, an obstetrician currently practicing in the Yuba City area. It was during her work experiences she obtained with the guidance of Jessup’s Career and Life Planning services that she found confirmation regarding her future purpose.

The opportunity to work both as a certified nursing assistant at Adventist Health and Ride Out Memorial Hospital in Marysville and as an emergency room scribe at Sutter Roseville Hospital not far from campus gave her first-hand exposure to the medical field. “I realized I was better suited to be a leader than I thought,” she explained. “I also saw that reaching the spiritual side of patients is an important component to their overall well-being.”

When Moriah began her education at Jessup in 2016, she described herself as somewhat introverted and shy, not really enjoying striking up conversations with other people. However, during her college experience, she discovered opportunities to grow into her gifts while being encouraged by faculty, staff and students. She also began conducting research and teaching other students in her role as teacher’s assistant in biology. In addition, she fulfilled an ongoing leadership role within the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) national chapter at Jessup.

Attending medical school also meant Moriah needed to change some coursework to ensure she met academic requirements. “Dr. Stubblefield, Dr. Richert and Dr. Mukome were instrumental in helping me achieve my goals,” she said. “During my time at Jessup, I had full access to faculty and they encouraged me every step of the way.”

Last year, Moriah married her high school sweetheart, Jessup alumnus Quentin Curteman who is a software engineer. Moriah kept her maiden name on her medical school paperwork in hopes to one-day return to her hometown of Yuba City as the other “Dr. Maddalena.”

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