Olivia Young

Sponsorship Manager at Show Mercy International

Tigard, Oregon

Class of 2014, Food and Nutritional Sciences major


Young works with Show Mercy International, an organization that works with vulnerable children, families, and elderly in several villages near Wakiso, Uganda, as its sponsorship manager. She works hand-in-hand with the social-work team to manage the sponsorship program, as well as to advocate for the children in their program both in Uganda and in the U.S. When she is not working, she enjoys helping the agriculture team on Show Mercy International’s farm, learning about agriculture in a developing country and listening to stories about how nutrition has impacted people’s lives in their village. Overall, she enjoys inspiring others to dream with God to reach their full potential.

How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?

My time at SPU opened my eyes to the need that is in our own backyard and across the world. The organization I have the blessing to be a part of in Uganda has the mission statement, “To mobilize, inspire, and empower people to live life on purpose, while reaching out in love.” This is an embodiment of SPU’s mission statement in action. I work with world changers, taking small steps, shaking the ground they walk upon with the power of the Kingdom.

Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?

As I reflect back on my time at SPU, the faculty member that stands out is Dr. Gaile Moe. She has a way of caring for her students that makes it fully evident she desires for them to succeed, and she goes out of her way to encourage them and to help them do so. She challenges her students to rise up to tasks that seem bigger than they may have thought they could handle, and doesn’t let them back down. On top of this, she is compassionate, selfless, and brings a great sense of humor to the table.

What advice would you give to current SPU students?

Your dream is already inside you. It is who you are. And it will come forth if you look for it. You have the opportunity to discover it. Fully embrace that we are free to dream and imagine what extraordinary things could be possible with God. Dream and pray with walking feet. Take steps that you believe will bring you closer to that dream. Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.