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Kaylynne Longmire: Why she almost gave up on politics

I hope to serve Jesus Christ by breaking down walls in international policy. I want to spread the light of Jesus in some of the darkest corners of our world and put God first in a field that often doesn’t consider Him at all.

— Kaylynne Longmire, Kent State University 2017, Political Science

During her senior year of high school, Kaylynne Longmire knew she was called to serve God through politics. She loved her government and law class and was moved by the struggles of people around the world. She studied the biblical book of Nehemiah and identified with his call to restore justice to the broken and defenseless.

“Having faced discrimination of my own,” she says, “I felt the call to help those in need.” In the fall of 2014, Kaylynne was accepted into Kent State University as a political science and international relations major and began her course of study.

By sophomore year, she was ready to quit.

“I sat with my advisor and explained that I am not good at writing papers, and three out of my five classes required a 12-page paper at the end of the semester,” Kaylynne says. “And there were a lot of areas and concepts in politics that I did not understand.” She proposed switching her major to something that she could handle more easily.

Her advisor asked her questions about what she was learning and what she liked about her classes. And then, after listening carefully to Kaylynne’s responses, she asked another question:

“What if your difficulties are not meant to break you, but to make you stronger?”

Kaylynne paused. There were plenty of difficulties at college. In addition to academic struggles, she had been tempted to do things that, in her own words, “did not mirror the will of God.”

But Kaylynne also attended Kent’s CCO fellowship group and met regularly with staff members Jenna Kertoy and Kaleigh Ritter. “I was never alone on my walk,” Kaylynne says. “I believe that with the help of campus ministry’s teachings and fellowship, and the support of my sisters in Christ, I was able to continue my journey and not give up.”

Kaylynne found the strength to continue—and then, to thrive. She finished her sophomore year with a 3.8 GPA and went on to study abroad in Italy, intern for two political campaigns, assist members of the Ohio House of Representatives, and serve as the secretary for the Political Science Club.

Soon Kaylynne will begin graduate work at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, pursuing a master’s degree in international studies with a focus on South America and Africa. It is a program she chose, in part, because she found a church she loves near campus. She knows that she will need inspiration and fellowship on this next stage of her journey, just as she did during her undergraduate years.

“The ministry at Kent State was part of the tapestry the Lord ordained for my life,” she says.

“I believe that with the teachings and fellowship, I was able to continue my journey in Christ and not give up. This helped shape me to be the bold, confident, fearless woman I am today.”