The beauty of a Marywood education is that it seeks to strengthen the mind with the power of education and empower the whole person to live a life rich in the principles and core values upon which Marywood was founded.
Carrie Kraynak ’24 is a superb example of how this transformative educational experience prepares students to live successful and meaningful lives in the service of others.
When Kraynak, a Pre-Physician Assistant (PA) student with a minor in nutrition and dietetics, was looking for the place she’d call home for the next five years, she was taken by Marywood’s community and the PA program.
“I chose Marywood for its affordable education (thanks to the generous donors) and excellent Physician Assistant program. The tight-knit community and close proximity to home were bonuses. During my first visit to Marywood, I met several incredible people I knew would help me reach my fullest potential during my college years. It was an easy choice to make once I saw Marywood’s PA program labs and equipment, and spoke with their director,” said Kraynak.
The comfort brought forth by the prestige of the PA program and the support she has received from the Marywood community have allowed Carrie to step outside of her comfort zone and flourish at Marywood. While her academic success is incredibly important to her, Kraynak says the ability to serve others has been her proudest accomplishment.
“Marywood has given me countless opportunities to prosper since day one. I have had several leadership opportunities and service experiences in my time at Marywood. My latest achievement was spending a week in San Lucas, Guatemala, on the Campus Ministry Alternative Break Medical Mission trip. I was lucky enough to be chosen as the Team Leader for this experience, which meant I was able to assist with fundraising and preparations, and serve as a liaison between the other participants, campus ministry, and trip advisors. I believe this service trip has been the greatest accomplishment of my life thus far,” said Kraynak.
“The greatest lesson I’ve learned since attending Marywood has been to say yes. Incredible things can happen when you move out of your comfort zone and accept all of the opportunities that come your way. It has become clear in my life that when I say yes, even when I am scared I might fail, my life becomes the most rewarding I could ever imagine.”
Carrie is extremely grateful for the ability to experience these life-changing opportunities through her Marywood education. She is thankful for the donor support which helps to make her dream, and the dreams of many, a reality.
“I was lucky enough to receive a merit scholarship in addition to financial aid. Before attending college, I was unaware that the generous donors and friends of the University fund a majority of the scholarships and aid Marywood has to offer. Without this assistance, I’m not certain that I would be able to attend college. I cannot explain the gratitude and appreciation I have for those that have helped fund my education,” said Kraynak.
While she is accomplishing several great things right here at Marywood, Kraynak has her eyes on the future and how she can make her positive impact felt.
“After graduation, I plan to practice medicine locally in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Area and would like to return to an underserved international area for another medical mission trip.”
Aside from her aspiration to give back via her profession, Kraynak is also committed to philanthropic involvement, which will help pave the way for future Pacers.
“I will certainly be giving back to Marywood when I am able. Without Marywood’s donors, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Hopefully, I will be able to give back to the university and assist many other students in their academic journey.”