Augusta University’s second annual Values Week, from Nov. 11-15, showcases the university’s commitment to foster an ethical culture and to highlight our institutional values. There will be an event or activity each day based on the university’s values.
The university will be honoring compassion and collegiality on Monday, Nov. 11.
Dual enrollment student Kyle Bledsoe opened up about a lifelong mission to be as compassionate as possible.
Compassion is reflected in caring, empathy and social responsibility.
Bledsoe, an Augusta native, is a senior at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School who has been active in the community with volunteer work and service with Girl Scouts of America. Bledsoe is also a part of Davidson’s choir, which will go on tour in March.
Expected to graduate in the spring, Bledsoe discussed how the transition from high school to college has been going the past few months.
“It’s been interesting interacting with adults who have jobs. The people I’ve interacted with have been really great and welcoming. The professors really care. They really echo the value of compassion on campus.”
Although this is Bledsoe’s first semester on campus, they did not hesitate to get involved. Bledsoe is a part of the university’s LAMBDA Alliance through the recently opened Multicultural Student Center.
Bledsoe plans to study biology to become a pediatrician and said Augusta University is on the list.
“I want to go into medicine. The Children’s Hospital being right here is a big factor for me because I want to work in pediatrics. Working with kids and seeing the impact that they had on me makes me want to go into the field. I’m applying to the Professional Scholars Program.”
Incorporate compassion in daily life
For the past year, Bledsoe has taken their social involvements seriously, volunteering with the university’s Ronald McDonald House and the medical center. They’re looking to soon volunteer at Children’s to gain more experience working with children and their families.
“I really enjoy it. It’s been difficult, but a great experience so far,” Bledsoe said. “Knowing I want to go into this field, I pride myself on my compassion and empathy.”
“Volunteering is something really important to do.”
Outside of volunteering, Bledsoe believes we can incorporate compassion into our everyday lives.
“Even if something doesn’t personally affect you, you still have the ability to see how it affects others and realize other people’s experiences,” they said.
“Compassion is oftentimes overlooked. Especially when we are judged by our grades and test scores. I think compassion is something that matters.”
While currently possessing a strong sense of empathy, Bledsoe admits this wasn’t always the case — these skills developed from previous life experiences.
“I’m visually impaired, so physically, there are things I can’t do. That made me a more empathetic person because my peers did not treat me well,” Bledsoe said. “So, I took that and decided to treat people the best I can so they don’t have to have to experience that pain.”
Bledsoe credits teachers, professors and older sister Ellen for mentoring and helping along the way.
“My mentors have really helped me,” Bledsoe said. “I have people around me that care about my successes and failures and I realized that I could do that, too.
“Compassion is caring about people and issues even if they aren’t directly related to you.”
Show compassion during Values Week
The department of Student Life and Engagement will be giving cupcakes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, to all students who come to campus dressed in school spirit.
Students can pick up their cupcakes at the Jaguar Student Activities Center, Allgood Hall, and the Health Sciences Student Center.
The department and Bledsoe encourage students, faculty and staff to show at least one act of compassion throughout the week.
“Think about the people who have treated you well,” Bledsoe said. “Think about the impact that made on you. Take those things and try to incorporate that in how you interact with people.”
For more information about Values Week, contact Joe Pierce, director of student life and engagement.
Learn more about the Department of Student Life and Engagement.