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Kendall Hale: Rotary Exchange Student and H.E.R.O.

Name: Kendall Hale

Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

Year: Junior

Age: 20

Major: Biochemistry

Relationship Status: Taken 

Courtesy: Kendall Hale

Her Campus (HC): Why did you choose FSU?

Kendall Hale (KH): I was doing the Rotary Exchange Program so I was living in Poland while I was applying to colleges. I was between two colleges, one in Texas and then Florida State. I chose FSU because it was closer to my family.

HC: Can you tell me about Rotary?

KH: I graduated from high school a year early to do the program. When you get accepted, you get to choose five countries to go to. These become your top five so I got Warsaw, Poland. I lived with three families while I was there. My first family was just a host mom and she didn’t speak any English. My second family was a mom and dad and little sister; they were so cute and I still talk to them! My third family was this huge family. 

Courtesy: Kendall Hale

HC: That is amazing! How long did you stay?

KH: I got to live there for 10 months, which is where I met my boyfriend, Felipe. There were 40 exchange students from all over – Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, Brazil, Australia and the United States. He’s from Brazil and we started dating in Pompeii. At one point we all got to go on a month long Euro tour in this big bus. It was so much fun! 

Courtesy: Kendall Hale

HC: That sounds like a really great experience! So when you got to FSU, why did you choose your major?

KH: I’m trying to do pre-med. At first I was a biology major, but I didn’t like that it focused more on plants and animals than on people. I was always good at math and physics so I switched to biochemistry so I could still get the requirements I needed for med school.

HC: What are your goals for the future?

KH: I’m applying to medical school this summer. I want to go somewhere in Texas and eventually become a practicing physician.

HC: That’s awesome! You mentioned H.E.R.O. earlier. Can you tell me a little bit about it?

KH: I’m literacy chair for H.E.R.O., which stands for Health and Educational Relief Organization. It’s a health and educational organization that aims to educate the public about health. We do a lot of volunteer work, including our biannual trip to Guyana, which is in South America above Brazil on the coast. We do a literacy program there and it’s my job to organize drives and collect books to bring them on mission trips and pass them out to patients who don’t normally have access to this information. We bring doctors as well to treat the patients. I recently got selected to go on one of these mission trips over spring break; it’ll be awesome.

HC: Wow, congratulations! When you’re not doing all this, where can we find you?

KH: With my dog Kono, who we just adopted three months ago from the shelter. She’s seven years old and a mix of a mix of a mix. She’s our mutt. She’s super sweet when she’s not trying to eat my roommate. I also go to the homeless shelter every Saturday morning and I teach American Sign Language at a local elementary school every spring once a week. 

Courtesy: Kendall Hale

HC: That’s so cool that you know American Sign Language!

KH: Yeah! I learned it in high school and taught it at a local elementary school. Every year we’d have a holiday show where we’d sign songs like “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” It’s so cute because they get to sign for their parents.

HC: That’s too adorable. What’s your craziest experience in college thus far?

KH: There was this one night where my friend and I wanted to go out with our boyfriends. They wanted to do something chill and we wanted to go dancing so we ended up going to the Tin Cow. It was super quiet and the guys were playing pool so we went upstairs and there was actually a foam party going on! The floor was this trampoline and there were bubbles up to our knees. We came downstairs to tell the guys what they were missing and it was still quiet and my friend and I were standing there covered in bubbles and dripping wet. It was so much fun.

HC: What’s one thing you can’t live without?

KH: Ice cream!

HC: Any advice?

KH: Never say no to new opportunities, especially on campus. It’s good to get involved and meet people you wouldn’t normally meet. 

Alexandra Pushkin is a student at Florida State University. Following graduation, she will continue to work toward her goal of becoming an editor. Born and raised in Miami, Florida, she is fascinated and inspired by art in all its forms, and often experiments with different media (fashion and DIY are her middle names). In her spare time she enjoys tending to her garden, reading interior design books, throwing brunches with her lovely friends, and cooking, of course. Three words: pumpkin cheesecake cups.
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