Please share a little about yourself – feel free to include a fun fact!
Hi there, I am Elizabeth Campo from the great state of Texas! I really enjoy spending time with my friends and family, traveling, trying new foods, and gardening. My favorite thing to do in my spare time is volunteer for Confirmation or youth ministry. I love watching young people come to know Jesus and deepen their faith. Two fun facts about me! One is that I have a tattoo from the oldest tattoo parlor in the world, Razzouk’s! The tattoo is a Jerusalem cross with the words “Luke 1:38” on my wrist. I never wanted a tattoo until I was in the Holy Land and heard the incredible story behind these tattoos. The second is that I am friends with the North Texas Food Bank’s Lady Bug, who made an appearance in the Dallas Holiday Parade!
Describe your professional work/ministry/family life. How were you led to this? What are you passionate about?
I have the immense pleasure to work for the North Texas Food Bank as a Volunteer Specialist. Each day, I witness Christ working within people as they serve their neighbors. I was led to this work after spending five years in a fast-paced for-profit business that did not have a mission based purpose behind the work and was not fulfilling. I had always been drawn to serving others, whether it be through volunteer work, extracurriculars, or ministries at church. Because of this desire within my heart, I went back to school for a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management and found work within the nonprofit sector. Along with my work at the North Texas Food Bank, I work part time as the Alumni Coordinator with Raider Catholic. Raider Catholic is the umbrella organization at Catholic Student Center at Texas Tech University. Through this role, I keep alumni connected with the activities and ministries at the student center and connect young alumni in their newfound communities. My experience as a student in college and passion for Raider Catholic led me to this position.
What are the personal strengths that you’ve been given and how do you utilize them?
In my professional career, the strengths finding tests have always said that my strength is Learner. I love to learn and always ask questions to find out about how or why things are the way they are. I absolutely love getting to know people on more than a surface level. I believe the only way to change the world for the better is if we know and understand the world around us and learn about the people in our lives.
Through learning the world around me, I am able to live out our faith more deeply.
What women inspire you, and why?
There are many women who inspire me, and I’d like to highlight three of them. The first is Mother Teresa. The way that Mother Teresa had a servant heart and saw Christ in every person, even in times of spiritual desolation, inspires me to always look for Christ in the person next to me and to trust that God is always with me. The second woman is my GIVEN mentor, Mother Olga. The stories she shared with me reflect the immense amount of trust in God she has and inspire me to trust that the Lord will always provide if you have faith in Him. The third woman is a friend whom I met on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Evette and I were strangers when we boarded the plane to Tel Aviv and dear friends upon return to The States. Evette’s courage to live out her faith boldly in ordinary ways is what inspires me. She is unafraid to listen to God’s voice and share what she hears with others. These three women, while having unique perspectives and experiences, inspire me to be courageous to live my Catholic faith in a secular world that is straying from Christ.
Are there friends and mentors that you depend upon? How do they support you?
The friend/mentor that I depend upon the most is my mother. Just like Mary encouraged Jesus to live out his ministry at the Wedding of Cana, my mother encourages me to live out my ministry in life. She supports me by providing wisdom and knowledge. She encourages me to overcome obstacles and follow my faith.
Prayer is essential for everyone, but especially for women who are active in the life and mission of the Church. Do you have any favorite devotions or prayers?
My favorite way to pray is by journaling. When I was on a retreat, a priest led a meditation where he had us imagine that we were in a park on a bench chatting with our best friend. He painted us a picture of a beautiful park then said if you are honestly sharing anything with your best friend, what are you sharing? And the best friend that you are sitting next to is Jesus. That is now my prompt when I am journaling and it allows me to be vulnerable and honest with Jesus in my prayers.
Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
“Do small things with great love,” said by Mother Teresa. I believe this is a beautiful reminder that you do not need to have elaborate plans or a surplus of resources to make a difference. You simply need to do small things for those around you in your everyday life with great love to make an impact that can last for generations and change the world.
What were your key takeaways from the GIVEN Forum?
The largest takeaway from the GIVEN Forum for me is that having a community of women who support each other, pray for one another, and cheer for the woman next to them is the biggest blessing. Participating in GIVEN has led me to search for a community of women in my area and deepen my friendships.
What was your GIVEN action plan? Describe its vision, mission, and audience.
My GIVEN action plan is called Onward. Onward is a program designed for seniors in college who are preparing to enter the next chapter of life. The mission of Onward is to develop young adults in the areas of identity, community, and faith. Through these areas, they are able to leave a Catholic Student Center and become active young adults in a parish wherever they end up.
Could you tell us a bit about what motivated or led you to develop this Action Plan? Was this something that you had on your heart prior to this past year or was it something you developed through the GIVEN program?
I was motivated to develop this program after realizing that many of my peers faced similar struggles after graduating college and leaving our Catholic bubble that was our Catholic Student Center (CSC). We had been surrounded by friends who encouraged and supported each other and were brought together for events at our CSC. When we all ended up in different parts of the country without the CSC, many strayed from the church, lost their faith, and were confused about what to do with their lives.
How did you grow throughout this year as you worked with a mentor? Were there any moments where you had doubts or felt like you had taken on too much of a challenge? If so, how did you overcome them?
My mentor helped me grow in areas beyond my action plan. She allowed me to deepen my prayer life. She encouraged me to be honest and to turn to God for answers in my action plan. She provided so much insight and many resources to grow and develop my action plan.
What were some of the fruits you saw from your Action Plan? What did you find most fulfilling in this process?
I led the first discussion on identity with the seniors. In this discussion, the seniors were openly discussing their understanding that their identity comes from God and while the world may have other opinions, as long as they always remember to find their identity in God, they can move mountains.