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Taking the driver's seat in education

Nine months after returning from the Mexico Guadalajara Mission, BYU-Idaho student Kimball Arritt decided he was not getting what he wanted out of his schooling.

"I didn't have a good outlook on my education," he said. "I wasn't enjoying it the way I felt I should be, and I was almost ready to leave BYU-Idaho."

After reflecting on his university experience and on his personal life since he had returned from Mexico, Arritt decided he needed to give more service. He needed to get involved and give back.

As he scoured through lists of available service opportunities, Arritt was intrigued by an opportunity to assist individuals in their efforts to overcome disadvantaged backgrounds. He turned in an application to the Heber J. Grant Program* and was appointed as coordinator of applications.

"The program did wonders for me from the moment I signed up," Arritt said. "It woke me up to a whole new world, creating a spark in my life that I needed—not just for schoolwork but for life in general."

Since joining the program in spring 2009, Arritt has served in several positions, including managing director of the instructor and mentor areas of the program. In that position he supervised and collaborated with other leaders about how to better mentor program participants, who can apply anytime from 13 years old through their freshman year at BYU-Idaho.

Arritt said it is rewarding to meet the program participants and see how they have been helped through mentoring, financial assistance, and life skills courses. However, he feels he has gained more from the program than any of those receiving aid.

"I only wish I could give back what I have received," he said, "but I don't think that is possible."

He explained that serving in a leadership position has given him a new outlook on his education. He said being a student at BYU-Idaho gives you the opportunity to learn as much or as little as you want.

"At BYU-Idaho, we are invited to take part in our education, not just sit back and soak up lectures," he said. "This program has put me on the front line of a learning opportunity and made me realize that I need to take the driver's seat in the classroom as well. This experience has helped me become an active participant in my education instead of just a passive observer."

*The Heber J. Grant Program is a student-led organization that identifies and assists individuals in their efforts to overcome disadvantaged backgrounds by providing financial support, mentoring, life skills courses, and leadership opportunities.

For more information on the Heber J. Grant Program, click here.

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