Student of the Week

Caitlyn Maksymiak


Hometown: McHenry, Ill.
Age: 21
Major/Minor: Majoring in Counseling, concentrating in addiction.
Expected Graduation Date: May 2014
If you could have anything in the world, what would you want?
A big family.


Caitlyn Maksymiak is involved in many activities on campus includ­ing Campus Ministry, the Diocesan Retreat Team (DiRT), organizing Cor Jesu and coaching in writing for the Math and Writing Center. After high school, Caitlyn decided to put off col­lege to do service work. She was con­tracted with the National Evangeliza­tion Team (NET) for nine months to do service work but when her nine months ended, Caitlyn decided she still wanted to continue with NET.

She turned down a full scholarship to St. Joan’s College in New York and signed up for another year with NET. After completing her second year, Caitlyn applied and was accepted to Newman University with a Cardinal Newman scholarship.

Q – What do you do for Newman’s DiRT Retreat?

A – I am the leader of the retreat team. I assemble the team and cur­rently we are in the middle of train­ing. We begin retreat in November. We spent all summer revamping the talks and the program for a new ap­proach.

Q – What other leadership positions have you been involved?

A – Last year, I organized and led the summer service camp that takes place here. A whole bunch of high school kids got together to do serv­ice work and activities. Also, I’m one of the leaders for Metanoia. My job is to help lead community life and to check in on people.

Q – What did you do after high school?

A – I did missionary work from fall of 2009 to spring of 2011. Between the two years I worked, we led over 200 retreats.

Q – What made you decide to put off college and do service work?

A – It was definitely a calling. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Senior year came and I applied. I got accepted and did the training.

Q – What do you hope to do after Newman?

A – I want to have a family and pur­sue a counselling career. I want to continue meeting people and en­couraging them. I’m not quite sure as to where I’ll end up. I’m interested in working with teenagers and young adults who struggle with anything from eating disorders to abuse. I want to give people hope.

Q – What has your experience with counselling shown you about people?

A – Right now, I’m doing a practicum at a clinic for methadone treatment. People come in who have addictions and they want to change their life and get off the drug. They go through a treatment process. But everyone is at a point in life so it depends on where they are. They know what is best for them. It just has to be the right time.

Q – Do you have any advice for fel­low students?

A – I guess it comes down to just love people for who they are and where they are in life. If we can do that, well, everything falls into place.

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