Texas native Olivia Hervey knew she wanted to attend St. John’s University after her first tour of the Queens campus. “During my visit, I could immediately envision myself as a student walking on campus with my friends and going to class each day. I felt at home and comfortable.”
Now a senior, Olivia immediately felt drawn to the University’s Catholic and Vincentian mission. During freshman year, she immersed herself in service projects such as Midnight Runs and began studying with the University’s Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults group. She was eventually baptized and confirmed into the Catholic faith at the end of her freshman year.
The diverse student body and its close proximity to New York City were important factors in Olivia’s initial decision to attend St. John’s. “I have never encountered as many goal-oriented individuals as I have at this University,” she observed. “It’s an inspiration to be around them because so many want to make a difference.”
“I have never been on a campus that is more accepting and loving. There is no judgment of any one idea or person, and creativity and individuality are widely encouraged. The accessibility of New York City is also crucial, not just for career opportunities and networking, but for its great energy.”
At St. John’s, Olivia discovered her passion and decided to major in Biology. She hopes to enter the medical profession one day. “Before I came here, I had no thought or plan to study science or go to medical school,” she said. “However, after just one semester, I figured out what I am truly meant to do with my life.”
She has been volunteering in the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Lenox Hill Hospital and in the neurology department at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital since September 2017. “At both hospitals, I help patients and nurses. I socialize and comfort the patients to distract them from the hardships they face. Through these experiences, I have developed an appreciation of volunteerism and realized how much I enjoy helping people, which has only intensified my desire to become a doctor.”
After graduation, Olivia plans to take a one-year break from her studies and become a scribe at a New York-area hospital. A scribe assists a physician with documentation and paperwork, and gathers pertinent patient information. She then aspires to attend medical school and specialize in neurosurgery.
“I would not be who I am without St. John’s,” Olivia said. “If I had a theme for my time here, it would be inspiration and discovery; I was inspired by both friends and faculty to always stay true to myself and what I believe. With that, I discovered my passion and am charting the course for the rest of my life.”