Stormy Given lives in a van.
But it’s not because the Oregon State senior isn’t successful.
Given is an exercise and sports science student in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences who will graduate this spring with an abundance of confidence, real-world experience and life-long friends and mentors.
“Coming to Oregon State was terrifying,” the Idaho-native admits. “I came blindly, and was alone. I sat in classes not knowing anyone, but I finally found my niche with the Adventure Leadership Institute (ALI).”
Given is interested in biking and rock climbing to name a few. She says she found a family though ALI.
“Everyone hopefully finds their family on campus,” Given says. “We all have similar interests, we like to be outdoors. I love the freedom, and whether I’m biking or climbing, I’m always problem solving. You never know what’s around the corner.”
Through an internship, Given developed a program that will teach adaptive rock climbing to students and community members with disabilities. The program is being integrated at Oregon State, and other universities have show interest in using the program as well.
“It’s so exciting to make people’s eyes light up,” Given says. “They say, ‘Well I used to climb before,’ or ‘I can really do this?’ So I hope this program will more fully develop, and people will take it, use it and put their own spin on it as it continues to grow.”
Given’s plans for after graduation involve adaptive climbing, her boyfriend, Todd Richards, and her bicycle.
The couple plans to spend the next two years cycling around the country, experiencing life in communities across America and teaching adaptive climbing.
“I want to see if I can do it,” Given says. “Pushing myself, being adaptable; that’s what school at Oregon State has taught me.”
Given moved into her van last winter to downsize in preparation for leaving Corvallis.
“I decided to save some money, especially if I’m going to travel around America,” she says.
She enjoys having her own personal space to unwind after the busy days of her last term. Given’s final term at Oregon State involves taking high-level classes for her minor in leadership, working three internships and at the ALI desk in Dixon Recreation Center.
Her advice to current and incoming students is to get involved and explore.
“Explore all the opportunities Oregon State offers before you make a decision,” she says. “You have an opportunity here to find out what you really want to do with your life. I’m going to miss the amount of opportunities and resources I have at Oregon State, but thankful for every moment I spent here.”