2009 RiverHawk Rosa Mohlsick returns as commencement speaker

Rosa Mohlsick, a member of Umpqua Community College’s class of 2009, will speak at this year’s commencement ceremony and then go forward with continuing her college education.

She was employed previously at the Safe Haven Maternity Home, a non-profit organization that aids women and babies in crisis. She worked at the home for a total of nine years and served as the executive director for three years. The Safe Haven Maternity Home has supported over 550 mothers and their babies since its opening in the Roseburg area, and it is currently serving eight mothers and their children.

Mohlsick now hopes to earn her Master’s Degree specializing in Business Administration to continue pursuing her dream of serving others. This degree would make it possible for her to pursue her dream of “being in service to others.” She is currently searching for positions of that nature in the local community so that she can give back to what she calls the “people population” in Douglas County and throughout Oregon.

She prepared her speech by reflecting on her own life experiences, research and an interview with President Debra Thatcher. “I want to encourage people to not be identified by past mistakes and to embrace their abilities, write their own stories and think of making a difference in their community,” Mohlsick said.

Mohlsick shared her answers to some interview questions in order to help the community get to know her better.

Mainstream: What did your time at UCC teach you?

Mohlsick: My time at UCC taught me to dare to believe in myself. When I was in school prior to UCC, I was young and not ready. Coming back to UCC inspired me to embrace learning as a passion, to be inspired that some people are lifelong learners and that is okay. It taught me to be the annoying person constantly asking questions in class, and to be okay with it because usually others had the same question but did not ask. It taught me the importance of believing in myself and having faith that I would make it through. Finally, it had me inspired not to focus on my early twenties, where I made lots of mistakes, but to focus on the possibilities of the choices I was currently making.

Mainstream: What were your favorite places on campus and why?

Mohlsick: My favorite places on campus were the cafeteria and classrooms. Study groups would meet to converse ideas and help each other. After attending a 4 year college online, now I really miss the in-class experience [and] connecting with my peers face to face.

Mainstream: What was one experience you had on campus that changed how you thought about life?

Mohlsick: “One experience I had on campus that changed how I thought about life was my CWE experience and connecting the dots with where I was working at the time, and then I was able to connect the dots further into my technical writing of a grant for the organization that I volunteered at. This overall helped my confidence six years later to accept the executive director roll when I was offered the job!”

Mainstream: What are you going to do after the graduation ceremony?

Mohlsick: “I will use (my) abilities to respond to needs in each of these organizations, volunteering my time to help others in the community.”

Mohlsick, in addition to family time, serving her church and the Zonda Club of Roseburg, helping with the Umpqua Valley Cal Ripken childrens’ softball organization, is preparing for her next big step into her college adventure: working and earning a Master’s Degree.

She adds, “Find your purpose . . . because when you are doing something then comes understanding and learning. Even if you do something wrong you learn and discover yourself and discover others and that is growth. To know yourself is to be yourself.”

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