By Matthew Bartow
Abigail Elwell is curious, open-minded and has what she calls a “distinctly Abbee” sense of humor.
Nicknamed “Giggles” for this sense of humor, Elwell once had a funny run-in with a math teacher. The teacher asked the class if he could say something about the homework, to which Elwell replied: “You’re a teacher, of course you can!” She said that the teacher then playfully threw a piece of chalk in her direction, which she saved and still has to this day.
Elwell comes from what she describes as a “tight-knit, loving, Christian family” and has five siblings, of which she is the second youngest. She said that her Christian faith is of the utmost importance to her.
“My life is about serving him,” Elwell said.
Elwell said that she has grown in her faith through classes at WCC that have exposed her to different viewpoints.
“There can be harmony despite differences in thought,” Elwell said. “I’ve grown deeper in my faith through learning different perspectives in classes at WCC. I always think that Abbee Elwell came to be at WCC.”
Elwell will be graduating from the Washtenaw Technical Middle College, and in addition to receiving a high school diploma, she also will receive an associate degree from WCC. She was selected by a committee to be the student speaker at WCC’s Commencement Ceremony on May 18.
Outside of classes, Elwell is a member of WCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, where she is an officer. She also is a student ambassador at WCC, where in addition to giving orientation and leading tours for prospective students, she has met some of her best friends.
“Through folding T-shirts, organizing folders and making buttons together, I’ve formed friendships with the other student ambassadors, including my best friend Claudia,” Elwell said.
Commencement will not be Elwell’s first time speaking in front of an audience. This past January, she was the speaker at WCC’s Honors Convocation, where she spoke about being a student ambassador and encouraged other students to get involved on campus.
“You have to put yourself out there and get involved,” Elwell said. “WCC can be so much more than a commuter college, but you have to create your own opportunities. You reap so many rewards from it.”
Elwell said one of the most rewarding parts of speaking at the Honors Convocation was when people came up to her afterwards and told her she had inspired them to join a club. She said this experience inspired her to apply to be the student speaker at graduation.
Next year Elwell will attend Hillsdale College, where she will study economics. She was offered a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Utah; however, she wants to stay close to her family and decided on Hillsdale College.
“When I realized that I would not see my family for over a year, I decided that it was not worth that sacrifice,” Elwell said.
WCC’s 2019 Commencement Ceremony begins at 9:20 a.m. on Saturday, May 18 at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center. Washtenaw Technical Middle College’s graduation will be held later that day.