BY HALEY HODGES
Although Eden Kreighbaum did not start her first year at Drake University, she has jumped into the campus’ climate her sophomore year to start a branch of the “I Am That Girl” organization for Drake’s campus.
Kreighbaum applied to schools two years ago with plans to major in electrical engineering and originally chose Colorado School of Mines, a small engineering and applied science school in Golden, Colorado.
After only a couple of short months at Mines, Kreighbaum said she quickly knew it was no longer a good fit for her.
“I just basically didn’t like anything about the school at all,” Kreighbaum said. “I really like math but found out I didn’t like science as much to justify being an engineer and I wasn’t a super big fan of just doing an applied mathematics degree because I didn’t want to go into teaching math. So I just started looking at schools that were basically the opposite of Mines except the size.”
That search brought Kreighbaum to Drake University, where she started in the spring semester of 2016, where she is now studying as an accounting and finance joint major.
Once she felt settled at Drake and was more content with her field of study, Kreighbaum wanted to start an “I Am That Girl” chapter at Drake.
Kreighbaum said “I Am That Girl” is a national nonprofit group with a book of the same name published by one of the organization’s co-founders.
“I first found out about it this past summer because I felt like, freshman year, I didn’t get to experience a lot of that soul searching that a lot of people do because I was either focused on transferring first semester or second semester focused on making sure I make friends and get grounded here,” Kreighbaum said. “So over the summer, I really wanted to read self-help books and start journaling and that sort of thing. I read the book ‘I Am That Girl,’ which one of the co-founders wrote, and at the end of the book they had instructions if you want to start a chapter and I thought it’d be a good idea to bring to Drake.”
Kreighbaum said much of her summer became dedicated to making up for the time she felt she had lost and, once she found “I Am That Girl,” figuring out how to start it at Drake.
“I did an online application, then I had a Skype interview with one of the executive directors of programming and chapters. I got approved and then started training,” Kreighbaum said. “It wasn’t super extensive, but it was a good chunk of my time in July, learning about all of the different curriculum and resources. A lot of it is focused on how to be a good leader because you speak first to open the floor and make people feel like they can speak but after that it’s more about being there to listen and make sure everyone’s respected.”
With “I Am That Girl” now established on campus, Kreighbaum has spent part of her first full year at Drake working on goals for the club, having recently finished a fundraiser and now looking ahead and planning more for second semester.