I grew up in Sugar Land, TX, and was raised in a loving, ministry-centered family. My earliest memories were all in church and serving others. When I was 7 years old, I excitedly gave my heart to Jesus and looked forward to being with Him the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, because I was a rule following and Jesus loving kid, I was bullied from elementary school to high school. I experienced everything from being called unkind names to being left notes telling me I should die. Although I had held close to Jesus through it all, the bullying really started taking a toll on me in my junior year of high school. I decided to blame God for how I was being treated and chose to walk away from Him. I started hanging out with the wrong people, and my heart became as cold as stone. I was disrespectful to my parents and would lie to everyone that loved me. The Holy Spirit constantly spoke to me and asked me to follow the Lord, but I ignored those voices for several months. Finally, I admitted to the Lord that I believed that He wanted nothing to do with me after disobeying Him. Of course that was not His character at all, and He reminded me that He would always go search for His lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7). I repented for all that I had done, walking away, and blaming God for something He did not do. I realized that through all those years, He was the One who was truly there for me in every moment. I grew a fire for God that I had never experienced. I became expectant for what He would do in my life in college.
My first day moving into the dorms at the University of Texas - San Antonio (UTSA), I met someone from Chi Alpha. I was pretty weary to make friends because of how I had been treated by my peers all growing up, but the Lord softened my heart to be open. I joined a Chi Alpha's bible study small group, and for the first time, I had true friendship with people of my age. Although I had been raised in the church, Chi Alpha taught me how to build my own foundation in Christ and not be dependent on my family’s faith. Growing up, I loved all of God that I knew, but did not realize that I was looking through the crack of a door when I could open the door all the way. In Chi Alpha, I also learned to read other books about men and women in the faith, pray fervently, study the Bible, and see firsthand how important discipleship was. I went all over the world to serve international Chi Alpha groups, where I saw how the Lord was moving in college students’ hearts everywhere, not just where I was. I learned that no matter what I would go through in my life, God is the One that is there for me, and that He brought this community to surround me as well.
I was a part of Chi Alpha at UTSA all four years of college. While in school, the Lord had called me to full time ministry and told me to help Him start a Chi Alpha group in Manhattan, New York City. I joined staff for one year at UTSA, then moved to Manhattan in January of 2020. My husband, Alex, and I got married that May, and then, he moved up to NYC, where we served that Chi Alpha group for the last three years. I have struggled through chronic pain for 10+ years and various other health issues, and after needing to have 2 spine surgeries in 2022, the Lord called us to UT-Arlington Chi Alpha to join the Yogo family and the team. We are excited and expectant for what the Lord will do in the lives of students at UT-Arlington!