Name: Kaitlyn Hamby
Relationship Status: In a Relationship
Major/Minor: Digital Media Production/Business
Courtesy: Kaitlyn Hamby
Her Campus (HC): Let’s start out with something easy: How would you describe yourself in three words?
Kaitlyn Hamby (KH): I would have to say strong, passionate and servant-hearted. I try to be the best version of myself and always care about others. Being a servant-hearted person is definitely a quality I developed through YoungLife.
HC: When did you get involved in YoungLife?
KH: I started YoungLife my junior year of high school. My boyfriend at the time was involved, so naturally I wanted to be a part of it. I started going and it was really fun, and I made a ton of new friends from different groups in my high school that I didn’t know before.
HC: And now you’re a YoungLife Leader. What does that entail?
KH: Well, it’s really different from being just a member. Our whole philosophy is to go where the kids go and to reach the kids who are not being reached. We want to meet them where they are. As a leader, I go to my kids’ high school, Lincoln High, to bring them breakfast, and they all come to club on Monday night, which is a weekly gathering where we just talk about what our faith means to us. You just do life with them.
HC: Would you say that being an important figure in these kids’ lives is the most rewarding aspect of YoungLife?
KH: Yes, definitely. Just recently I was texting one of my girls, and she told me that she was writing an essay about someone who has personally influenced her and she chose me. Just the fact that I’ve been there with her through good times and bad times and that she recognizes how much I love her made me so happy.
HC: You’re also very passionate about gun control and keeping guns off campus. Can you tell us a little about that?
KH: Well, you can’t live in America and not be aware of all the gun violence going on. It takes a toll on you. I went to high school between the two most dangerous streets in Jacksonville and was constantly on lockdown and hearing gunshots. I often texted my parents telling them that I love them just in case something bad were to happen. It was terrifying. On one occasion, I had to run from a shooting during a lacrosse practice and that’s really stayed with me. When you have a past like that combined with the shootings we hear about in the news and that one that occurred on our own campus, I can’t just stand back and ignore this clearly pertinent issue that we’re being faced with.
HC: So what have you done to promote your attitude against this?
KH: When I found out there was a bill that would allow guns on campus, I was very disturbed and incredibly nervous that the gun violence I had been surrounded with [in the past] would become a part of my campus. Last semester I was very adamant in talking to people about this issue and writing my State Representatives about it. When I heard about the hearing of the guns on campus bill, I knew that I wanted to speak out and that it was the best way to get my voice heard. Even though I wanted to throw up the whole time I went, I now feel that attending hearings and speaking out is the most important thing we can do as students to keep this bill from becoming law. So far I’ve spoken at 3 legislative hearings. It scares me, but the talk about guns being allowed on campus gives me an adrenaline boost.
Kaitlyn speaking out at a hearing of the bill that would allow guns on campus in September 2015.
Courtesy: Kaitlyn Hamby
HC: It sounds like you’re super busy! What do you like to do to de-stress?
KH: I hang out with my dog Padfoot. He’s definitely my biggest de-stressor. There’s just something that feels really great about coming home to a dog who’s beyond excited to see you. Padfoot is a Pitbull and I love Pit bulls, not only because they’re discriminated against, but also because contrary to what people believe, they’re the best dogs ever. They’re really cuddly and love people.
HC: When did you get Padfoot?
KH: Back in February. My boyfriend and I found out about him through a friend and adopted him from a shelter. I have a passion for rescuing dogs and especially Pitbulls because they’re the number one dog breed killed in shelters. Padfoot was badly abused when we adopted him. We drove through the night to Georgia to pick him up, and he’s been my angel ever since.