• Ryan Sutherland
    Ryan Sutherland, Class of 2007

    Your current job title and description: Inspirational Speaker

    I share my story in about a 45 min. presentation, my three main topics are; faith, fellowship and perseverance. I speak at schools, churches and civic groups. My main goals are to talk about how these topics have been important in my life, to encourage people to find ways of implementing these topics into their daily lives, and to encourage them to be an encouragement to other people who they will meet throughout their lives.

    Your education/jobs you have been in that led to your current career:

    Whitworth University, BA in Psychology and Minor in Theology with Certification For Ministry

    I spent 6 months interning with the chaplain at a Retirement home in Spokane as part of my Certification For Ministry, I did a one month practicum as a school counselor or part of my Psychology program, and I spent 3 months as an after school tutor at Wenatchee High school. Each of these gave me the desire to work with people and to use my story as a means of bringing encouragement to those I come in contact with as a speaker.

    Your future career plans if you are interested in changing your career:

    At the moment, I'm thinking about doing a two-year online Masters program to become a School Guidance Counselor. I'm interested in doing this, not because I don't enjoy inspirational speaking, but rather because I believe it will give me more opportunities to form relationships with and be an encouragement to school-age kids. I would also be able to continue speaking during summer when there is no school, so basically I would be adding on a new career.

    Your proudest moment since high school:

    One of my proudest moments since high school was graduating from college. It was four years of hard work and dedication, but the new knowledge gained and relationships formed definitely made the experience worth it.

    One piece of advice for high school students:

    When I was in high school, I was a much shyer individuals, and really didn't make a concerted effort to reach out to others and to be a source of encouragement to those around me.  So my advice to you is to make that concerted effort to be a source of encouragement to others, even if it means making yourself feel uncomfortable in the process. If you look around you, and really look at people, you will see that each of us has something we are struggling to overcome. We all need someone to support us, and we really can't make it through life on our own. Be courageous and look beyond yourself, you will find it to be very rewarding.