The HYPE Team
You Can B Vulnerable – Lea Thompson (’21)
Updated: Sep 16, 2021
“You Can Be Vulnerable” – Lea Thompson (’21, Major in Management with Concentration in Human Resources, Minor in Earth, Environment, and Global Sustainability)
Growing up, faith was not an important part of Lea Thompson’s life. She was raised in Connecticut, and her main passions were her family, her academics, and the many sports she played, including volleyball, indoor track, and softball. When applying to colleges, Lea was recruited to the Bentley softball team. Despite playing the sport she loves the most, the adjustment to college life her freshman year was challenging. That all changed when she attended her first Athletes in Action (AIA) meeting.
Throughout Lea’s first year at Bentley, she felt continuously down about her journey, but couldn’t pinpoint why. A normally very positive person, the academic and social stress of her freshman year had changed her usual attitude. But, after a teammate brought her along to an Athletes in Action meeting, a sub-organization of Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU), she immediately felt that the missing piece of her had been found.
“That emptiness I felt throughout freshman year had been filled.”
This meeting drastically changed her feelings about religion and the Bible. She had entered a room where people weren’t encouraged to silently pray, but rather openly discuss their emotions and experiences. She was amazed at the vulnerability and authenticity of the people around her. The topic of that first meeting was fear, and the group pulled verses from the Bible to aid their discussion. Lea had never looked to the Bible before for comfort, but then came to realize that it could be a source of inspiration and motivation for her. This was the last meeting of the semester, and Lea felt so transformed from this meeting that once she returned home for the summer, she made the switch from a Catholic church to a non-denominational church.
“Listening is as important as speaking.”
Once she returned to campus for her sophomore year, Lea had a completely new outlook on life; she wanted to spread the values she learned in AIA and CRU to as many people as she could. As her positive disposition returned with a brand-new outlook on her Bentley experience, Lea became involved in many new opportunities on campus, remaining involved
with CRU, AIA and the softball team, while also joining Kappa Delta and the orientation team. Through all her involvements, Lea has fostered many relationships with her peers, and always strives to be a positive presence in all of her friend’s lives. At softball practice, she aims to be a role model for her teammates by working hard and not getting frustrated when things don’t work out perfectly. Fittingly, she is the Chaplin of Kappa Delta, a role that entails Lea getting up in front of the sorority at each chapter and providing them with a motivational quote.
Despite devoting her time to so many organizations on campus, Lea decided she wanted to go above and beyond for CRU. During her junior year, she and a friend realized that they wanted to make CRU a more recognizable organization at Bentley. Together, they began posting verses to their Instagram account, which previously had rarely been used. Lea was elated to see people enjoying these posts, and felt she was doing her part of providing even more people with a dose of daily inspiration.
After her success with the Instagram account and her endless dedication to CRU, she decided to step up and become CRU’s next president. Though she has been instrumental in ensuring CRU running smoothly, not many people within the organization even know she’s president! For Lea, it’s not about the recognition; it’s simply about being a resource for people in need of a friend.
“It’s important to me that people know that CRU is a place where anyone and everyone is welcome.”
Her biggest hope for CRU is that everyone knows it is a place where everyone can go to feel accepted. After the Black Lives Matter protests in June of 2020, Lea continued to post Bible verses on the CRU Instagram to reiterate the fact that “inequality and racism are not from God”, and have no place in CRU. It is an organization of inclusivity, authenticity, and compassion, and Lea is a perfect extension of those values.