"To go where the need is, and truly live in the moments of my life"
When 21 year-old Callie Gospeter walks down the aisle at UMD commencement ceremonies May 14, she will be celebrating some stunning accomplishments. Not only has she maintained a 3.8 grade point average, graduating magna cum laude in only three years, she is a UMD Best of Class Scholar, a Goldfine Scholar, an accomplished saxophone player, a trained volunteer grief facilitator at SMDC, and a cancer survivor.
Today Callie is a slender, healthy blonde young woman who carried an average of 20 credits per semester, and also managed to study abroad in New Zealand where she hiked extensively, mountain climbed, bungee jumped, and learned to fly fish.
But the road to health was far from easy. When she was only four years old, Callie was diagnosed with leukemia. Many years of her young life consisted of difficult rounds back and forth to the U of M Hospital for painful procedures involving bone marrow, spinal taps and chemotherapy.
To get herself through the painful treatments Callie says she developed a system of self-hypnosis by concentrating "really hard" and by "schrinching my toes". And everyone marveled at the little girl who never cried.
Callie credits and thanks her wonderful family and her parents, Robert and Cynthia Gospeter of Mankato, Minnesota, who provided her with such strong support and who "explained what was going on each part of the way." After years of arduous treatment, Callie's cancer went into remission.
Today this highly talented and motivated young lady uses her many gifts to make a positive difference in the lives of others. While carrying a very full class schedule at UMD, she also serves as a trained volunteer grief facilitator at SMDC, works 30 hours per week as an intern in the counseling office at Duluth Central High School, and teaches swimming to youth at Woodland Hills Residential Treatment Center. In her sophomore year, she worked as a nanny with little Grace and Lily Pearson after their terrible, highly publicized, August 2003 plane crash in Two Harbors in which they were badly injured and their mother and uncle were killed.
Callie will be attending graduate school this fall at the U of M in Minneapolis to get her masters degree in school counseling. Her steady boyfriend will be heading to the Twin Cities as well where he is seeking a teaching job in music education. They meet at UMD--on their first day of classes.
Of her life goals, Callie says, "I am not really motivated by money. I want to go where the need is--where I can best use my skills. I need to do the best I possibly can--while always and truly living in the present moments of my life."