Student Servant, Sociable Stenographer–An Interview with Kate Berkey

by Amy Gaasrud

Few twenty-year-old female college students have rebuilt a Volkswagen Beetle, but Kate Berkey has. She worked on the car “every weekend, every break, every snow day, every summer.” It started out as a project to connect with her dad and learn something new, but it turned into a lesson applicable to all parts of life. Rebuilding a car was not simply an overnight thing, and Kate has found that many things in life, including her writing, are the same way.

Kate's Beetle
Kate’s Beetle

Kate’s dad taught her a similar lesson. He helped Kate rebuild the Beetle, but he also showed her how to be courageous and encouraged her to continue writing and never give up. “My dad has a business that was not an overnight success, and I watched him build it. He inspires me to keep going,” says Kate. “I really admire him for that.”

Kate’s dad also taught her about serving others. Her sophomore year of high school, Kate and her dad organized a 5K run to raise money for a Romanian orphanage and for a pro-life organization. Before that, Kate’s family practiced serving others together. At Christmas time, her mom would have Kate and her three older brothers buy teddy bears and then go visit children in the hospital who couldn’t go home for the holidays. Other times, the Berkeys went on missions trips as a family, serving in foreign countries.

Kate has continued grow her love of people through service and giving of her time. Recently, Kate has served as one of Bergwall Hall’s Discipleship Assistants. Through this position she leads the girls on her floor in worship and spiritual growth. In her free time, Kate loves to be with people as well, whether she’s spending time with friends or listening to people’s stories.

Those stories often inspire Kate’s writing. “I see different situations and wonder what I would do,” Kate says. Her writing is inspired by asking questions and considering how people get to certain points in life.

Kate has dreamed of being a writer since third grade when she was assigned a writing prompt and loved it. Her teacher and her family encouraged her to keep writing. Because of that, Kate looked for a university with a good writing program. Among the Christian schools, Taylor University caught her eye. She enrolled there soon after and hasn’t regretted it since.

“I like that we get published,” says Kate. “I like the people in the program. . . . It’s taught me to view a writing career differently than when I first came in. It’s opened my eyes to different avenues where I could take my writing and made me hopeful [about finding a job in the future].” Through the professional writing program, Kate was able to attend the Write to Publish Conference in summer 2014. Kate says preparing for the conference is teaching her a lot about her relationship with God.

“In America, we don’t like to depend on anything,” says Kate, “I bought into this idea and didn’t rely on God, but I’m realizing more and more that I need Him.” Before attending the conference, she said, “I’m going to this conference, and I don’t know what I’m doing.”

As she prepared, Kate relied on God for inspiration for the book proposal that she was going to bring to the conference. Kate admits that in the past she wouldn’t have really given God the credit for her success, but says, “He’s going to get all the credit for this.”

Whether it’s writing a story or training for a half-marathon, Kate has learned to persevere and trust God in all she does. She kayaks, bakes, and reads, but above it all, she values people in her life.

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