Bri Hogan isn’t “kind of” a Christian, like several of the students we work with. Many of them struggle with living out their faith, or with connecting their belief with their actions. Not Bri. She takes her faithfulness seriously and wants to become more Christ-like every day.
Bri and I first connected at the beginning of her freshman year at Pitt, when I showed up to introduce myself to the gymnastics team. It was during our first one-on-one meeting that I realized she was a solid Christian and really wanted to get plugged in and grow. I also realized that she would make a great leader, even though she was only a freshman.
Throughout her first year at Pitt, Bri started attending the weekly athletes’ fellowship group, and we started a small Bible study group together with one of her teammates. By the second semester, Bri and her teammate had invited other friends into the group. She is a born leader, not just for the fellowship, but also on her team. She is also involved in the Pitt athletics student leadership program and she volunteers at a local physical therapy practice.
In everything she does, Bri wants to build relationships, love others well, and represent Christ in whatever arena she is in. Many of her teammates come to her with questions and know that she is someone who really cares about them.
Bri is a great student and well respected by other athletes on campus. When she goes out with her fellow athletes, they are blown away at how much fun she can have and not drink, even if everyone else around her is drinking. We did a series on racial reconciliation and she took that call very seriously. One of her teammates had been inviting her to a predominately black fellowship group, and because of that series, she thought it was a good opportunity for her to put that into action, so she went. That is just one example of how teachable and genuine Bri is.
Bri was eager to get plugged in and wanted to grow when I first met her. I have seen her grow tremendously, mainly because she is so teachable. She does not think she knows it all or has already arrived. She wants to grow closer to Christ personally, but also desires to be more like Christ in how she views the world and lives her life. It is fun to see her eagerness and journey with her as she is being transformed.
—Kelly Cooke, CCO staff ministering to athletes at the University of Pittsburgh