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Resident assistant prepares through reliance on faith and her communitySarah Bruns rests her arms and chin on top of the Duvall Hall sign. She smiles.

Sarah Bruns '19 became a resident assistant in Duvall in fall 2016. Preparing to serve as a part of Duvall's leadership team is more than decorating herself in pink and green and learning Duvallian chants, Bruns says. It is an opportunity for growth.

"I applied for the RA position because I knew the job would stretch and grow me as a person," Bruns says. "I also knew that if I got the job, God could use it to change me for the better and challenge me to rely completely on His strength."

Bruns has been a student leader before, serving as associated student body vice president during her senior year at Clarkston High School.

"I've always jumped at the chance to be a part of leadership," Bruns says. "As president, I had to learn how to work with a team of people. I had to humble myself, listening to and implementing other people's ideas instead of always relying on my own."

The main difference between the RA position and other leadership positions is the emphasis on relationships in developing a community.

"Whitworth is all about community, and, as an RA, I will have the privilege of leading and participating in community with my residents," Bruns says. "I hope to grow in relationship not only with my residents, but also with the rest of the Duvall team and other student leaders on campus."

However, every position has its challenges.

"I am most anxious about balance," Bruns says, "First and foremost, we are here for an education, but the RA position is known to wear people out. I'm nervous about putting too much time and effort into the job and letting other parts of my life, such as academics or friendships, start to dwindle. However, I am comforted knowing the rest of the Duvall team is there to support me at all times and to pick me up when I feel worn out."

Bruns also finds comfort in prayer.

"This job isn't an easy one," Bruns says. "Even in preparation, I have to remain in communication with the Lord, asking him for wisdom, clarity and joy in the upcoming challenges this job will present."

Bruns is currently involved with Whitworth Women's Choir and with small groups on campus. Off campus, she volunteers for West Central's Youth for Christ Club 56, a ministry for fifth- and sixth-graders. She also helps out with children's ministry at her church, Immanuel Baptist.

After graduating, Bruns – an English major with a dance minor – hopes to complete the Whitworth Master in Teaching Program and to find a job as a high school teacher in the Pacific Northwest.