My name is Karissa Thomas.  I am a freshman at Walla Walla University and am pursuing a nursing degree.  I decided I wanted to be a nurse so I can help people and make a positive difference in the world.  I hope to do travel and missionary nursing at some point in my career.  In my free time I enjoy playing and/or listening to music, reading, watching movies, and spending time in nature.  I recently started a YouTube channel so I can share my experiences and inspire others.  

I had a hard childhood in many ways, but the challenges I experienced have made me the person I am today and looking back I wouldn’t change anything.  I grew up with a narcissistic mother who was very emotionally abusive toward me and other members of my family.  No one ever protected me from my mother and I ended up living with my abuse throughout middle school and high school.  During the summer between my junior and senior year I realized that my mother was abusive and there was nothing I could do to stop it and I couldn’t live with it anymore so I left and began supporting myself.  With the help of friends and family I finished high school and got accepted into Walla Walla University.  

Even though many thing about my childhood were unpleasant, they did help me draw close to God.  I grew up going to a nondenominational church but never really had a close relationship with God until I started going to Pathfinders when I was 13.  I spent a lot of time around kids my age who were close to God which significantly impacted my life and I started developing a close relationship God because of a lot of experiences I had in Pathfinders.  My faith in God got me through my hard experiences growing up and it is still what guides me today.  After I left my abusive home I got baptized into the Adventist church and I strive to show God’s love to people every chance I get.  I believe God gives each of us a powerful testimony, we just have to be brave enough to share it.