As an early childhood education major, Kathryn Napierski wondered about the value of her geology class. Ten kids later, she’s used her rock knowledge countless times. Photo by Bradley Slade.

How alumni use their BYU education to serve their communities, neighbors, and families.

Bedrock for Learning

When sitting in a BYU geology class one day, I wondered if I would ever be able to use what I was learning. Almost immediately the Spirit spoke to my heart and mind that one day I would have children—and that I did! With eight sons and two daughters, I have used my geology knowledge more than I could have ever known. Whether helping build rock collections, working on Scouting projects, or taking trips up canyons, I have been able to help all of my children with the knowledge I gained. As an early-childhood-education major, there were classes I chose to take at BYU because I knew I would use the information taught, but some of the other classes I was required to take also opened my mind to new concepts I have used throughout my life. I am eternally grateful for an education that has blessed my family in even the most unexpected ways.

Kathryn Kendall Napierski (BS ’99), Orem, Utah

Giving Back

I left BYU with two degrees in horticulture. Although I worked in the field for only a few years before beginning to raise my children, I have always loved plants. So I was intrigued a few years ago when I read an ad from our local public library. They were looking for a volunteer to take care of their indoor plants on a regular basis. For about three years now, I have enjoyed helping at the library by doing simple watering, pruning, and transplanting of the plants there. I like being able to use the knowledge I gained at BYU in a way that can enhance the beauty of a community building. Even more important, I appreciate being able to give back to the library that has assisted me in raising my children for the past 20 years.

Annette Barnes McLane (BS ’85, MS ’87), Round Lake Beach, Ill.

Financial Fitness

In November 2006, I returned home from serving a mission in Ecuador. As a missionary I observed a great deal of poverty and was deeply troubled by it, so when I returned to BYU in January 2007, I felt prompted to enroll in a finance class taught by Scott C. Marsh. The financial principles that I learned in his class motivated me to begin investing for retirement, to avoid excessive debt when purchasing my first home, and much more.

Over the last two years, I have also been able to share those financial principles in my church calling. I work closely with welfare recipients, and I am able to encourage them to budget and live within their means. I am grateful for the financial knowledge that I gained as a student, which has enabled me to be more self-reliant and to better serve others.

Emily Ellsworth Miller (BA ’07), Austin, Texas