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ASWU executives strive to foster positive change for Whitworth community

ASWU Executives 2016 ProfileThis year's ASWU executives are taking the reins to serve Whitworth students. ASWU President Breanna Lyons, '17, Financial Vice President Jeff DeBray, '18, and Executive Vice President Norma Heredia, '18, hope to foster positive change for Whitworth's community.

"I plan to support my amazing teammates," Lyons says. "By supporting them well, I will be able to affect campus 30 times more than I ever could on my own."

"I want to make ASWU more accessible to students," DeBray says. "Our new app has done a lot to help with this piece, but I hope that making students more aware of the resources available to them through ASWU will do this, as well."

"Some of my goals include visiting dorms more often, attending more club events, and empowering individuals," Heredia says. "I want to meet my peers where they are by listening and getting to know their passions and values."

ASWU President Lyons is a health science major with a minor in psychology and an interest in pursuing rehabilitation medicine and student development after graduation.

"I ran for the position because I felt as though it was the next step God was calling me to on campus," Lyons says. "I was terrified to take the leap of faith in running for ASWU president, but I found refuge in God's guidance, as well as in the support of my mentors, through the process."

DeBray is this year's financial vice president. He is double-majoring in political science and economics, with a plan to pursue a career in economic development.

"I ran for FVP because I am passionate about helping students find their place in the Whitworth community," he says, "and I want them to feel as though they have a place where they are empowered and a part of something. As FVP, I am able to do this tangibly by overseeing and supporting all of our clubs on campus."

Heredia, a political science major who hopes for a future position with the government, is this year's executive vice president. She hopes to optimize her experiences in student body leadership to be a strong leader in legislation and community.

"Having experience in student government at both Whitworth and in my high school, I wanted to continue pursuing leadership in a way that could serve the community. I saw EVP as a good fit," Heredia says. "I value how each person on the team is unique, but we all have the same motivation: to serve the Whitworth community to the best of our ability."

These ASWU executives agree that self-care is essential to balancing academic and personal responsibilities.

"Every day, I write down everything that needs to be done in order of deadlines, and then I start at the top of the list and work my way down," Lyons says. "I put my emotional, physical and spiritual health at the top of my list, and I realize that in order to pour myself into all the things I am involved in, I need to take care of myself. I've found fun ways to do that this year."

"One thing I do is run, which I do several times a week," DeBray says.

"I try getting off campus once in a while, turning off my phone or de-stressing with music," Heredia says.

Although finding balance can be difficult, ASWU's executives expend the effort to serve Whitworth's unique community.

"I am continually amazed by the hospitality of our student body," Lyons says. "I feel accepted and welcomed to be who I am and to express the things I believe."

"Our student body has an ability to be courageous and to ask tough questions, which makes it unique," DeBray says. "While many of us may already have a set of core values, we are always looking to learn from each other."

"Whitworth is a uniquely friendly school," Heredia says. "Everyone is genuinely interested in getting to know others."