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CBU Alumna Encourages Students to Discover Passion, Then Take Action

Riverside, Calif. (Nov. 20, 2015) – From a young age, Jennifer O'Farrell ('00) had a passion for "healing hearts." However, it was not until she acted on her heart's desires that her passion turned into reality, she told California Baptist University students.

O'Farrell is the executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Empire and a founding member of The Pick Group, a non-profit organization geared toward young professionals in Riverside that engage civically for the betterment of the city. She spoke as part of the School of Behavioral Sciences' Culture and Justice Lecture Series on Nov. 19.

A quote by Nelson Mandela,  anti-apartheid activist and President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, provided the focus for her remarks: "It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us … When we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people the freedom to do the same."

O'Farrell said students should try to find a ministry opportunity in their current season of life. O'Farrell encouraged students to bridge the gap in their communities with those who are less privileged. She suggested mentoring in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Additionally, O'Farrell advised students to look within themselves to discover their passion and then take action to start change even if the change they seek is difficult. 

"When we expose our heart's desires, we have to own up to it," she said.