Back to her roots: Oak Hills graduate Makayla Kameroff will continue her work in Alaska – Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI — A graduate of Oak Hills Christian College on May 7, Makayla Kameroff will soon return to her roots in Alaska.

After she earns her bachelor’s degree in applied psychology, she will take a summer job with Covenant Youth of Alaska, a ministry that provides summer camp opportunities for youth.

“It’s a summer camp where I spend time with kids every week, but it’s not a base camp that you can just drive to. It’s definitely an Alaskan camp where you have to use a plane, a small plane and a boat to get there,” Kameroff said with a laugh.

In April, Kameroff was also being interviewed by the Portland Rescue Mission, a ministry that focuses on helping those affected by homelessness, addiction and other issues.

“I would basically make myself available as an asset for people to overcome addictions, conduct Bible studies, and whatever else they need me to do,” Kameroff added.

A 2020 graduate of Alaska Christian College, Kameroff discovered Oak Hills through a recruiter who visited her community college.

“They talked about how CCSO was a small community with fairly small class sizes and a great student-teacher ratio,” Kameroff said. “He suited the times perfectly.”

Not knowing exactly what her field of study was until her freshman year, Kameroff turned to psychology after comparing it to a business degree and considering her hopes of helping people in her future career.

“I’m incredibly indecisive, but I didn’t want to pick the business, so psychology was more for me,” Kameroff said. “After taking the courses, I fell in love with the estate. It worked really well because I’ve always wanted to help people, and I think psychology is one of the best ways to help someone else.

In particular, Kameroff’s favorite class was Group Process, as it gave the class the opportunity to conduct mock group therapy sessions and observe how close the students were from beginning to end of the class.

“At first nobody really talked to each other and we were all in our own little bubbles,” Kameroff said. “Then on the last day of class, we shared our deepest, darkest secrets.”

The opening was an initial struggle for Kameroff at the start of his time in Oak Hills, which coincided with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Leaving a place where I was comfortable with my friends and family and then going to a place where I couldn’t form such good relationships because of social distancing and wearing masks made this so tough first half,” Kameroff said. “I remember sitting on the floor crying because it was just terrible.”

She admitted to only speaking to one other person outside of class, someone else from Alaska. However, that changed after the fall 2020 semester, with the help of her personal mentor and Associate Dean of CCSO Student Life, Kierlyn Fritz.

“I reached out to Kierlyn, who made it much easier for me to come out of my shell, do fun activities and be part of a team,” added Kameroff. “After that first semester, I became completely comfortable presenting who I am to others. It was just a really big learning curve for me coming (to Minnesota) from Alaska. Everything was new. »

Kameroff has since become active on campus, including playing volleyball for the Oak Hills Wolfpack, serving as a resident assistant, and serving on the student activities leadership team last year.

Most recently, she took part in a mission trip to Honduras in March as part of Operation Christmas Child, providing aid and supplies to churches across the country.

“I was part of the volunteer group last year and this year I was able to be part of it in person,” Kameroff said. “Packing boxes, distributing them to churches across Honduras and visiting children in local villages was really fun.”

In case she has free time, Kameroff likes to seek out hiking trails and take her hammock with her for the trip. She also enjoys painting and drawing and describes herself as a coffee connoisseur.

“I came back from Honduras and grabbed, like, three bags of fresh coffee beans,” Kameroff said. “I love my coffee at a certain temperature, made with the right gauge, using different percolators or pourers or French press. All that jazz.

Despite his immediate plans for a summer job with Covenant Youth of Alaska and other ongoing job interviews, Kameroff isn’t rushing to find a permanent position and opts for a more laissez-faire approach in terms of job hunting. the right opportunity.

“I went into 2022 thinking I wasn’t going to make any long-term decisions and I didn’t want to plan what was going to happen the rest of this year,” Kameroff said. “Oddly enough, almost everything worked out that way. I look for what’s available and just fly by the seat of my pants.

The start of Oak Hills will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 7 in the college gymnasium.

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