Freshman business student, Rebecca Knebelsberger, is a photographer and member of the SOUL Outreach team out of her love for Christ.
MH: What are some of your interests and hobbies?
RK: I like photography and God. God is my main interest. I love playing sports. In high school I played volleyball, basketball, and track. I also like to play ultimate frisbee, and I’m trying to get started on playing beach volleyball too. Lastly, I would say I enjoy volunteering and overall just helping people, however I can.
MH: What brought you to JPCatholic?
RK: I wanted to go to a Catholic university, since I didn’t go to a Catholic high school. I knew I wanted to grow more in my faith and spiritually. Originally, I thought I wanted to be a photographer, so I hoped to major in business and open my own studio. I thought if I ever wanted to change my mind from that, there were other things here that I’m interested in. Even though it is a smaller school, I still have other options that I would want to look into.
MH: At what point did you realize you had an interest in photography?
RK: It started in junior high when my parents got me a camera for Christmas. Eventually, I started taking pictures of people and doing senior photo sessions just for fun.
MH: Do you have plans for any future volunteer work?
RK: Yeah, I am interested in missionary work. I applied to NET Ministries, and I actually attended an interview retreat. They asked me to reapply next year and I was kind of disappointed at first, but I’m actually really thankful that they said that because I do think I’m not quite ready right now. I think at this moment in time, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Although, I know I do want to do mission work sometime in the future.
MH: What led you to wanting to volunteer there at Culture of Life Family Services?
RK: Over break, my dad and I were praying outside of a Planned Parenthood. There was a women’s crisis pregnancy center next door, so we went in there, and we were just talking to people. A girl came in who had just come from Planned Parenthood, and I began talking to her. That was really cool for me. So, after experiencing that, I decided to look into places in Escondido where I could help. I knew JPCatholic senior Julius Medrano had worked with pregnancy centers previously, so I talked to him. He told me about a non-profit clinic called Culture of Life Family Services. I’ve talked to the manager there, and I’m hoping to start as a client advocate there soon.
MH: Since you have a passion for giving back, why would you encourage others to do the same?
RK: There’s a lot of need in the world. I think it’s important to help people, and at the same time, it helps you. I wouldn’t say to volunteer for selfish reasons, but it does positively impact you and gives you a different perspective on life. You get to see how people are struggling, yet still manage to find joy in their situations. I think we should all strive for that, and volunteering can help you do that.
MH: How do you impact culture for Christ, and what does it mean for you?
RK: [I] try to be a witness through glorifying God in everything that I do. To me, it means to be joyful and live like Christ would. It’s not necessarily shoving God or your beliefs down someone’s throat, but it’s more about the way you live. People see that, and through that, want to grow and learn more about God. I really want people to experience God. I think a lot of people forget that this is our school’s motto. I feel that it should be everyone’s center. It’s really easy to get distracted by school and everything else in our lives.
MH: So far, what have your experiences at JPCatholic taught you?
RK: I’ve been learning that I have so much room to grow, but I’ve also learned to not get defeated by that but rather take it as an encouragement. Before, I would be like, ‘Oh, these people are so amazing. I can’t do all these things.’ I would be so intimidated. But now I’m realizing, ‘Hey, you gotta start somewhere!’