Casey McCall admits she had nothing to lose when she competed to be UW-Whitewater's student commencement speaker.
Her gamble paid off.
On Saturday, May 14, she'll have the chance to bring the same insight and wit she displayed during her audition when she addresses her peers at the spring undergraduate commencement ceremony, 10 a.m. in the DLK/Kachel Fieldhouse.
"I'm absolutely honored," McCall said. "Thrilled to have the chance to do it."
McCall, from Brookfield, is graduating with a bachelor's degree in secondary English education. Her minor is Spanish. After graduation, she plans to earn a master's degree, and pursue a career in education.
"Teaching is my passion," McCall said. "I just don't know where or what I want to teach yet."
As a student at UW-Whitewater, McCall served as a campus assistant, giving prospective students and their families tours of the university and answering their most pressing questions about college life.
McCall expects to be nervous on May 14 when she approaches the podium in front of thousands of people, but she's no stranger to staying cool under pressure. For three years, McCall has served as a volunteer EMT for the Lisbon Fire Department.
It's humbling work, according to McCall. "You see people at their worst and at their best."
Don't expect her to recite a predictable commencement speech.
"It will be a reality check," said McCall. "I like to tell it like it is, mixing truth and humor, and hopefully inspiring my fellow graduates to set goals and work to achieve them."
Even if they stumble along the way, that's OK, said McCall.
"We're going to make mistakes, but we move on."