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Student Spotlight: Kaysie Wagoner

Kaysie Wagoner went on a mission trip to Kenya, Africa where she visited Naomi’s Village. Photo courtesy of Kaysie Wagoner

Kaysie Wagoner went on a mission trip to Kenya, Africa where she visited Naomi’s Village. Photo courtesy of Kaysie Wagoner

Kaysie Wagoner went on a mission trip to Kenya, Africa where she visited Naomi’s Village. Photo courtesy of Kaysie Wagoner

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Abandoned and orphaned at the age of 1 in Wuhan, China, Kaysie Wagoner’s love for the less fortunate knows no bounds.

Wagoner, a junior chemical engineering major at USA, hopes to someday open a clinic in a developing country to help undeserved areas across seas.

“I am a big advocate of the underdogs in all things I do,” Wagoner said.

Wagoner’s passion to help the underdogs sent her on a mission trip to Kenya, Africa where she visited Naomi’s Village, an orphanage for young kids.

“I feel like orphans need the most love because they have learned they are unwanted at a young age,” Wagoner said.

Wagoner also helped build a new school for children in the area and visited several others including: a school for children impacted by HIV, one she had donated supplies to before her trip to Kenya and another for disabled kids.

Wagoner’s past is shrouded in mystery. A police officer found her with no information linking her to her biological parents. She did not have a birth certificate, a birthday or a name.

The police officer gave his family name to Wagoner.

“I have a Chinese name too,” Wagoner said. “Huang Furui. We put our family name first. So he used his family name, Huang, and gave me the name Furui.”

Wagoner was adopted around two years later to an American couple.

“It [Wagoner’s adoption] was mostly due to the one-child law they had,” Wagoner said. “Girls were not wanted and there was a large amount of girls who were put into adoption. The U.S. was the biggest country to adopt in China. Many were born illegally, most likely me.”

Wagoner said she does not remember much but has pictures. She also was told she liked to sing. A lot.

Wagoner has clung to her sunny sing-along disposition through years, claiming that how you react to situations out of your control determine your situation.

“Part of that is deciding whether you want to see things in a positive lens or a negative,” Wagoner said.

Wagoner has utilized her positive outlook on life and seized the opportunities that lay before her. Serving in several leadership positions across campus, she actively seeks to make a difference at USA.

“I have realized that as a leader you can do a lot a more,” Wagoner said. “I have this urge to do more and to serve.”

She serves as the President of Omega Chi Epsilon, an honor society for chemical engineering students, and hopes to provide free tutoring to chemical engineering students.

As the webmaster of Biomedical Student Society, she manages the organization’s social media accounts and helps plan events.

As a SGA senator for the College of Engineering, she works to bring new amenities for engineering students, such as a proposed bill to install water bottle fountains in Shelby Hall. As an ambassador to the College of Engineering, she gives tours to interested students and helps recruit new students.

Again, true to her optimistic views, Wagoner enjoys the juggling act she is engaged in.

“This is my free time,” Wagoner said. “I take the activities that I have and consider that my free time because I enjoy it so much.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Student Spotlight: Kaysie Wagoner”

  1. Sonya on March 13th, 2018 9:24 am

    Kleenex pulls. Such a powerful, well written story.


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Student Spotlight: Kaysie Wagoner