The world could always use a little bit more kindness. This is a belief that graduating senior Claire Kidwell holds strongly.
After attending a few 2016 election watch parties for both political parties, Kidwell couldn’t sleep well. She felt that there was too much negativity being spread, and wanted to make a change.
That night three years ago sparked the idea for The Kindness Commission. The Kindness Commission, a Missouri State student-led organization, is dedicated to uplifting not only Missouri State but also the community surrounding it.
Now as a graduating senior, her impactful journey at Missouri State has opened many doors for her.
The degree pays off
“It would be cool to see if I can take what I started at Missouri State and maybe try to implement in a different place,” Kidwell said.
Kidwell has big plans for her future. She has accepted an internship for this fall in Salzburg Austria for the Salzburg Global Seminar, an independent non-profit organization dedicated to bringing leaders from all over the world together to try to make a better world.
She will apply her journalism and radio announcing skills obtained from working at KSMU for the past three years. Kidwell’s global studies major will come into play as well because she will be listening to leaders from around the globe discuss real world problems.
“So I will be basically doing what I do at the radio station which is writing interviews, doing reports, press releases, connecting with people and participants and sharing it with our audience,” Kidwell said.
She will continue spreading kindness by applying for the Peace Corps in the near future.
Kidwell credits Missouri State’s public affairs mission for pushing her to where she is now. “The classes I have had have really helped me not only to secure the that internship, but give me the push to go out to the world as an engaged citizen,” she said.
Leaving her mark on MSU
“Anytime we get an email or a tweet about something, that we did lets us know we at least helped one person have a good day and that’s better than none at all,” Kidwell said.
Each month, the Kindness Commission coordinates and participates in volunteer work throughout the Springfield community.
The commission also participates in random acts of kindness around campus. Before starting the organization, Kidwell passed out hot cocoa packets with funny quotes on them to students. After seeing the reaction from it she knew she wanted to continue it with the Kindness Commission.
Some of Kidwell’s favorite acts completed include taping quarters to metered parking or vending machines, hiding positive notes throughout campus, chalking uplifting messages and paying for other students’ Starbucks purchases.
The Kindness Commission will continue next year with a new leadership team.
Advice for incoming students
Looking back on her time at Missouri State, Kidwell is thankful for all the people she has met through organizations. Getting involved on campus allowed her to obtain new skills and meet people with many different views and backgrounds.
Kidwell participated in many different organizations including:
- Missouri State Chorale
- Model United Nations
- MSU Aerialists
- Gamma Phi Alpha
- The Kindness Commission.
While, staying involved is important Kidwell, she wants to stress that putting yourself first should always be your main priority.
“It’s really important to make sure that you do what you are passionate about and make sure that you still have time for yourself, ” she said.