Sophomores Madalynn Payne and Bekah Mongold met for the first time in kindergarten when they were put into the same class by mistake. A few years later, they spent their fourth grade recess time playing together and have been friends ever since.
You will often see the dynamic duo around campus, heading back and forth to the science center, leading Bible studies, or helping with one of the many events put on by the campus service organization Y-Serve.
Payne first found out about EMU from her father, who took a couple of classes in seminary. She became interested in the university because it was a good size and a Christian school close to home. During their junior year of high school, she convinced Mongold to miss a day of class and go to an open house to visit campus, and they haven’t looked back since.
Both have had a great experience at EMU, both inside and outside of the classroom. “I love that you can go to your professors for anything,” said Mongold.
Payne added, “I also think that the most fun I have on campus is doing that extra stuff [outside of class]. I think for people who aren’t enjoying their experience at college, it might be that they haven’t explored all of the club options and the groups you can get involved in. It ends up making some really fun interactions.”
They both appreciate the vibrant community that EMU offers and the many club options. Both of them have taken advantage of this opportunity and have become integral parts of one campus organization in particular.
Many students take a semester or two before committing to clubs, but Mongold and Payne soon found themselves very involved in Y-Serve. Mongold said, “I’ve found that a lot of things in my life are last-minute decisions that turn into really big and awesome things.”
Coincidentally, the sister of Mongold’s first-year roommate was the co-president of the organization at the time and encouraged both her and Payne to join the club. They began as social media coordinators trying to build up buzz for the organization and quickly became more and more involved. “We were like the ‘sure’ people. ‘Can you do this?’ ‘Sure!’” said Payne.
By the end of their first year, Payne and Mongold accepted their current positions as co-presidents of Y-Serve. The ability to serve others was something that drew Payne to the school. “Before coming to EMU, I had some expectations for college here: Getting involved in music groups and in Campus Ministries were two of the big things. Turning around and looking back, that’s exactly what’s happened.”
Their dedication to the organization is only paralleled by the friendship they have with each other. “My favorite thing about Bekah is the way that she cares for me and for those around her. Her joy brings me joy,” said Payne.
They both agreed that they have similar interests but different personalities that balance each other out nicely. Mongold said, “My favorite thing about Maddy is that she is extremely patient. She’s my adventure buddy.”