Good morning, lovelies!!
It’s interview day!! And today, is a treat! My sweet friend, Kosi, has the most beautiful story and a heart of stinkin gold!! She is such a light and constantly doing good for those around her. I truly hope that her story will make you smile/laugh/empathize just as much as it did me!!
And, as always, give her some love on insta, @warmandkosi. Side not: best insta handle EVER!!!
+ For those who aren’t familiar with you, please introduce yourself.
Hello everyone!!! I am Kosi Nweke! I am 20 years old, a proud cradle Catholic who loves Jesus. I recently just graduated from nursing school, and I have begun my work as a Registered Nurse in the cancer field!!! I love reading, sports, laughing, and hugging my friends and family!!!
+ When did your relationship with Christ first take root in your life? As a young person, what led you to take your faith on as “your own”?
I would say that my relationship with Christ took root in my life as a child. My mom was/is very friendly and familiar with Priests. We were always going to confession, daily mass, and different church related events even if we didn’t completely understand them. I give all the credit to my parents honestly for raising my sisters and I the way they did. A lot of parents do not see the importance of it, but because of the seed my parents planted, there was always a root growing in my life whether I wanted to acknowledge it or not.
During my first year of college, a really close friend of mine went away to camp and he came back completely changed and honestly, I figured it would fade because for a lot of people it does, but nope! He really stuck with it, and really pulled me into the faith. I wouldn’t say that I ever left, I never stopped going to mass, but I will say for a period of time I was going through the motions. At this same time, a couple of my other friends were really seeking out their faith and it was super encouraging to have that support!! So, thank you Trey, Maddie and Daniel!!! During that semester I got invited to Seek! I signed up almost immediately and paid the down payment. Towards the deadline for SEEK I realized that I would not have enough money to go, and I kind of let the hope for it go. The very last day for payments to be submitted for SEEK I was contacted with information saying that I had received a full scholarship! In that moment I realized that Jesus was ready for the tree to grow and I did not fight it. Since then, I have gone on a mission trip, met one of my best friends. I have seen my life change in so many ways, I almost feel like I got a second chance at life again because I am a completely different person.
+ How do you intentionally choose joy in your daily life?
I try my hardest to intentionally choose joy by being myself and being raw. I spent a long part of my life being ashamed by my emotions, my feelings, tears, and my short comings. I’ve learned that’s where Jesus works. His power is made perfect in my weaknesses. So, once I was able grasp that (I still have to remind myself sometimes) I felt free. There’s true freedom in Christ, and I really encourage people to be themselves. You can’t joyfully be someone else. You can be happy, but they aren’t the same thing.
+ Having recently graduated college, what are you most excited about as you enter this new stage of life?
Right now, I am most excited about getting more time to learn about myself. For the longest time I thought that it really sounded selfish, but without self-possession we aren’t able to fully love. You cannot sacrifice yourself for someone else if you do not have knowledge about your heart’s needs, the ways Jesus communicates with you, etc.
So, I’m just really excited to continue to learn about Jesus and share that with others. I’m excited for that free time. More coffee dates, more volunteering in the community and more real relationships.
+ You have a great passion for mental health and substance abuse awareness. How did you discover your desire to serve in these areas?
In all honesty, I have had some friends who have struggled with both and have also gotten to spend some time in Psychiatric facilities and heard the stories about how so many of our brothers and sisters felt unloved, crazy, and lost. I remember the day that I decided I would dedicate as much of my life to Mental Health as I could. I was 19 years old, and I had someone that I had just met describe to me in explicit detail how he was going to kill himself. My heart broke and I started to cry, and his last comment was, ” and no one will miss me”. Something that I think a lot of people struggle with is knowing the truth… The truth being that they’re loved. Honestly, I struggled with it a lot, but once I found that truth it made loving myself & life a lot easier. I always knew I wanted to come back and serve high school students, because that’s where I struggled the most, but I began to notice the increase in mental health struggles, and the rates of suicide. Through lots of research in nursing school on teenage substance abuse, I was able to realize my desire to serve.
+ These issues usually come across as taboo and unapproachable. Why do you think it is important to have these conversations and to be open?
It’s important to have these conversations because the youth of our time are really struggling with these things. They’re getting a lot of information and support from the internet, when they could be getting it from their Church, family and friends. It’s up to us to not only educate ourselves but encourage openness in day to day life. I think the world is encouraging people to not be open because it comes off weak, but bottling emotions is really detrimental. When we are open and vulnerable with one another true friendship is formed. A lot of the time, that just what people need. To hear that they’re normal, to hear that they aren’t alone is this struggle. So, once we start rejoicing in our weaknesses, it’ll encourage others to do the same and seek out help.
+ Young people are truly the future of the church! And as you prepare to become a LifeTeen core leader in the fall, this is a huge passion of yours as well! Through your own experiences with faith as a young person, why do you believe it is important for young people to be active in their faith/church life?
I not only experienced this in my life, but I have seen it true in so many other testimonies. High is TOUGH. You’re going through a lot of changes, your hormones are up and down, there’s drama just about every single day, and college is even tougher. So, in knowing this and having experienced both of these things it is really important to me to pour into the younger generation and give them a strong foundation for life. Like I said, high school was the toughest time for me, but because of that foundation I was given, when I felt lost, I just had to look on my desk and pick up my bible. I knew exactly where the map for life was. I didn’t have to run around like my head was cut off, I knew how to get home. I am so thankful for my parents, and the volunteers that poured into me as a teen!
I want young people to not wait as long as I did, I want them to have more years of joy, not happiness. I want them to feel loved, in a time where so many people do not. They are the future of this world, and it’s time we start training them like it.
“The future is in your hearts and in your hands. God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult and uplifting, of working with Him in the building of the civilization of love.” St. Pope John Paul II
+ Transition can be hard, but Christ is with us in every area of our lives! How have you found Christ through this transitional period of life?
So, coming out of a really tough nursing program, I was almost overwhelmed with the amount of free time that I had. I used a lot of that time to really draw closer to him, read more about the Church, read lots of books (Thank you, Matthew Kelly), podcasts, and really just completely immerse myself in his teachings. It wasn’t till I started work that I found myself having to ACTUALLY find him throughout my day. I remember my first week being incredibly overwhelmed and just feeling like I was not doing enough for his kingdom, so I made a couple changes.
I started a Snap chat series for my friends called “Car Chronicles” and every morning I share a way that I saw God the day before, or how he is working in my life. This makes me really appreciate Jesus in the small things. Whether I have a patient who is playing P&W music, or I encounter a patient sharing their hope with me, or even just seeing people praying in the chapel, it’s nice to notice his small miracles. In Exodus 14:14 it stays, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still”, so I stopped getting so down on myself for missing daily mass while I am helping my patients because that is my vocation and its exactly where God wants me to be. Instead, I relinquished the power to him, and he’s been so present since them. I can literally see the ways Jesus is working in my patients and their family members every day and I am so thankful. Jesus is a man who can perform great big miraculous miracles, but he is also ever present in the smallest ways.
+ What is your mission, in life, work, and faith, as you reach out to new people?
My mission is to love. So many things I do each day just fall under the category of love, willing the good of the other. Whether I am helping a patient with tasks that they cannot complete on their own anymore, helping out a co-worker who needs my assistance, getting coffee with friends every week to just hear where they are at, and allow them to share their heart. I just want to love others, the way I feel loved by God. I think the world is lacking a lot of that right now… People who want to go the extra mile, people who want to listen, and people who truly care.
I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good. St. Josephine Bakhita
That love is the reason for the hope that is in us and the root of our joy.
+ If you had a megaphone and a message for all young Catholics, what would you say??
Drop everything and choose today. Choose right now. Surrender totally to the Lord, and become free.I know the world seems so fun, and I know everyone makes it seem that way on social media, but it does not last. I tried it, several times & I came back to Jesus because he was the only thing who brought me lasting joy. I know it seems like there’s so many rules, and restrictions but your parents set rules because they love you, imagine how much Jesus has willed our good by teaching us ways to properly live this life.
“Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.”
-Venerable John Paul I
And you all have a beautiful, blessed day!!