Wendy Oduor, Miss Kenya USA and a 2014 Saint Mary’s alumna, spoke to the importance of relationship-building and mental health in her keynote speech at the annual Martin Luther King dinner Wednesday night in Rice Commons.Miss Kenya USA is an annual pageant held in Houston, Texas. According to its website, the organization pairs contestants with organizations working to combat inequalities Kenya and the U.S.Though she holds degrees in biology and psychology, Oudor currently works in fashion in New York City. After graduation, Oduor spent time at home working in the medical industry before making the decision to apply to the Parsons School of Design in Manhattan.“My acceptance to Parsons was a green light from God,” Oduor said.Taking this sign, Oduor packed her bags and moved to the Big Apple.Oduor attributes her four years at Saint Mary’s as the foundation for what she has accomplished today.“If you were to ask me four years ago, I would have told you that my degree from Saint Mary’s was a waste because I was not directly using the biology or psychology — but today, I know that it is so much more than that,” she said.She said returning to campus and speaking to a new generation of Belles was a meaningful experience for her.“Being back on campus is so surreal, it is a truly humbling experience,” Oduor said. “The fact that I am able to be here tonight is a testament that God is a man of his words.”Oduor said she urges current Saint Mary’s students to curate relationships, whether it be the girl you pass in the hall or your future bridesmaid.“It is so important to make time for relationships,” Oduor said. “It doesn’t matter how close you are or not, [if] you don’t know what they are going to be doing one year [or] five years from now and how that could benefit you.”Odour said this mindset helped her maintain a years-long relationship with Interim President Nancy Nekvasil, a longstanding Saint Mary’s biology professor.After losing her brother to suicide during her senior year, Oduor became an outspoken mental health advocate.”I use a lot of the psychology that I learned at Saint Mary’s in the work that I do surrounding mental health advocacy,” she said. ”Acknowledging the grief allowed me to heal and move forward and establish where I am today.”In addition to speaking at social events, Oduor utilizes Instagram as a platform to share stories and engage with her followers about mental health. She hosts weekly Mental Health Monday livestreams to spread awareness of the issue.Oduor said she places a high value on finding and pursuing ones’ passions.“It is God’s version of my vision. I would not have been able to heal if I did not find my purpose and allow God to work through me,” she said. “Passion is for you, purpose is for others. God gives us the tools to turn our passions into our purpose.”Tags: Martin Luther king dinner, Miss Kenya USA
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has been fully restored by a federal court in Maryland on Friday.For the first time in 3 years, DACA will now be open up to new applicants. The program allows immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children but who lack legal status to legally work and protects them from deportation.President Donald Trump has been trying to end the program since 2017.However, last month, the Supreme Court ruled thatTrump didn’t properly end the program. Immigration attorneys argued that meant the Trump administration had to start accepting new applications, but it doesn’t appear to have done so yet. Trump can still end the program.According to reports, about 650,000 people are enrolled in DACA, but only those who were already in the program when it ended have been able to renew.The Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, estimates an additional 66,000 young immigrants now meet the minimum age requirement of 15 years to apply for DACA and would be eligible under the restored program.The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it is reviewing the ruling.
Buenos Aires, Argentina | AFP |Like neurotic parents, Argentines swung from criticism to unconditional love for their star footballer Lionel Messi this week, providing the soccer-mad nation’s many therapists with rich material for psychoanalysis.Fans’ frustration at the superstar’s missed penalty in Sunday’s defeat to Chile in the Copa America Centenario soon gave way to panic as he vowed to quit the national team ahead of the 2018 World Cup.As fans online pleaded “Leo, don’t go,” psychologists, neurologists and philosophers appeared on chat shows and published newspaper columns to analyze the hero’s motivations and help the nation cope.To judge by the past criticism Messi has received, having a player widely rated as the best in the world is not enough for Argentines.They also want him to win — as Diego Maradona did at the World Cup in 1986.Now they have started to ask themselves whether they are too demanding.President Mauricio Macri said Tuesday that Lionel Messi was “God’s gift” to the country and it should “take care of him.”One school teacher became a minor celebrity when she sent an open letter to the player which was read out on television.“Please don’t give up,” wrote the teacher, Yohana Fucks — a not-uncommon surname in Argentina.“Don’t make people think that all we care about in this country is winning and being first.”Football idolatryAndres Rascovsky, former president of the Argentine Psychoanalytical Association, links the country’s intense sporting passions to its dirty politics. “Argentines need idols,” he said.That desire stems from “the humiliation and denigration of the masses by the politicians,” Rascovsky added.“That generates a need for them to redeem themselves through sporting heroes like Maradona or Messi.”The provocative extrovert Maradona “is more identified with transgression and omnipotence,” Rascovsky said.That exuberant spirit is epitomized by what Maradona called his “Hand of God” goal against England at the 1986 World Cup.“The Hand of God was a goal of transgression, a false goal scored with the hand which in a spirit of idolatry was elevated to the status of the divine,” Rascovsky said.The nation’s relationship with Messi is different, however.“A lack of decent values causes a lot of Argentines to identify with the transgressive omnipotence of Maradona,” said Rascovsky.“On the other hand, Messi comes across as a more modest, normal personality.”Maradona himself recently accused Messi of having “no personality.” But he too threw his support behind Messi after he vowed to quit, urging him to stay.“I knew him when he was a kid,” said Enrique Dominguez, who coached the young Messi at Newell Old Boys football club.“He is very sensitive though his face doesn’t always show it.”Share on: WhatsApp