Pictured left to right: Anna Kremer, Paulena Khorn, Jocabed Garduno and Alexis-Simone Rivers

Personal stories telling of discovery, failure, compassion and hardship reveal the importance of diverse experiences across generations and cultures.

When given time and a platform to be told, these tales have the power to inform, transform, and inspire us. They resonate with courage and introspection, causing us to seek bravery and contemplation in our own lives, too.

Each spring, the Women of Color and Senior Recognition Celebration gives voice to such stories. This event, organized by the Office of Multicultural Life, provides the Hope College community with the opportunity to grow in its appreciation for and understanding of diversity and inclusion. Four senior women shared their stories of difficulty, joy, dignity, healing, and gratitude at the celebration this year. Each woman’s narrative and journey varied, but they all shared a common moral to their stories:

As Hope shaped them, they in turn shaped Hope.

Alexis-Simone Rivers ’16

If a day miraculously became two hours longer, it would be a good bet that recent Hope graduate Alexis-Simone Rivers ’16 would not spend the extra 120 minutes sleeping. It would be tempting, but it would not enter her realm of possibilities.

Read the complete story of Alexis-Simone Rivers

Anna Kremer ’16

Recent Hope graduate Anna Kremer ’16 sees a future as colorful as her past, a future where a diversity of people and a specific product casts hues of browns and tans and greens. It’s a future that is simultaneously distinct and sundry. It’s a future where her love for Latino and Asian cultures and coffee meet.

Read the complete story of Anna Kremer

Paulena Khorn ’16

The stories she heard while interning at a refugee center in Denver, Colorado, sounded familiar but not entirely. Daily at the center in the summer of 2015, the stories of struggle and otherness provoked her to wonder, “how much of those stories were like my parents’?”

Read the complete story of Paulena Khorn

Jocabed Garduño ’16

Fear is a liar, that’s what Jocabed Garduño ‘16 kept telling herself. Fear is nothing more than a wrong-minded attempt to sidetrack your goals, infringe upon your joy, weaken your heart. It had no place in the life of a young woman with a persistent smile and lust for life, yet there it was. What was she going to do with it?

Read the complete story of Jocabed Garduño