By Hunter Doyle

Overcoming challenges is something that Trevi Ray is no stranger to. From a young age, she went through many times of transition and change. They were not easy to keep up with. To start, Trevi grew up in sunny California with her mom, dad, younger brother, and younger sister. However, in 2008, her family moved to Nebraska with temperatures dropping and snow falling. This was a “jarring transition” for her as an eight-year-old and something that took some time to get used to.

Moving out.

With time, Trevi got more acclimated to her new home as she moved through her childhood. Something that drew her in about the culture was the community aspect of it. 

Nebraska has a true midwest feel to it. Everyone is friendly and comes together for big events that are going on. For example, even though she is not much of a sports fan, everyone there loves the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Since Nebraska is more rural and there is not necessarily a lot to do, everyone packs the stands for big events such as that. Loyalty, dedication, and work ethic are major aspects of the culture. Everyone makes sure to get down to business and work hard at what to do.

While she was just getting used to that transition and new culture, Trevi transitioned into public school for the first time in sixth grade. Her parents wanted to get her some exposure to public school before high school. Middle school wasn’t the easiest transition but she still made a few friends.

Onto high school.

Then, high school hit and it hit hard. Her interests diverged from some of her friends. Another group of friends decided she wasn’t part of their group anymore. Trevi described that time as the “perfect storm”. At this time, she began to struggle with mental health issues. That lasted from freshman year until the second semester of junior year. 

Despite this difficult period of Trevi’s life, she still saw a lot of positives come out of it. She had more time to find out what she was good at and what she was interested in. This led her to the school newspaper where she was an editor in her junior year and then editor-in-chief her senior year. 

She was also led to the speech team which was, in a way, a new beginning for her. It became “an outlet for all of her passions”. She always had the drive to compete. She was never too interested in athletics so the speech team gave her an opportunity to do that. In addition, she was passionate about extemporaneous speaking (with politics, good news, etc.) and poetry as well. Not only did she get to compete but she got to put it together with her passions. 

Not only did it coincide with her interests but she also met new friends who she likely never would have met if she had not joined the team. Her coach was pretty influential in her journey because, at that low point in Trevi’s life, she felt that she “needed an adult woman other than her mom to be there for her”. Her mentor was absolutely that.

Headed to Wheaton College.

After overcoming difficult obstacles in high school and turning them into positives, Trevi headed to Wheaton College. This was not an easy decision as she had planned to go to college back in California at Point Loma University. She realized during the decision process that she mostly wanted to go there for the convenience of her relationship with her boyfriend. Ultimately, she decided that Wheaton was best for her and ended the relationship.

Wheaton was another challenging transition in her life though and she felt discouraged early on. After being at public school for a while, she came into Wheaton feeling like she wasn’t a good enough Christian. Not only did this discourage her spiritually but also academically. She had been a hard worker in high school and Wheaton’s coursework offered new challenges. She described it as a “culture shock”.

Then, she ended up in a relationship with an upperclassman, which became a big mistake. During the year, she had to file Title IX allegations against him. This led to a lot of guilt. There weren’t many people she felt she could open up to about it. She did have a community of a few people that came around her and supported her through this time though.

Once again, Trevi managed to see the positives through a difficult period of her life. She joined the debate team which had an amazing community as well as College Republicans and Young Woman for America. 

Even when the COVID-19 pandemic, she saw it as a new opportunity to spend more time with her family. The first few weeks were not easy. She did not want to tell her parents about the Title IX allegations. It was difficult “trying to let her parents reconcile with whom they viewed her as and who she actually was”. The quarantine became a beneficial time following that though. Since her family is often busy, they don’t get to spend as much time together but the quarantine forced them to. While quarantine did get boring at one point as it did for most people, it was still a great opportunity for her family to get to know each other better again.

Future aspirations.

Trevi developed a strong work ethic from growing up in a town like Nebraska. She did multiple extracurriculars throughout her high school years. In her time at college thus far, she has continued with extracirriculars. She plans to continue with that work ethic and ultimately head to law school after her undergraduate studies. At the same time, she is still open to and interested in working for a news organization, covering politics, or working in public relations.

She also still carries the family and community aspect of Nebraska with her. In the future, she wants to be remembered with some type of family aspect, preferably as a mother. While that is at the forefront of her mind, she would like to make a difference in her career path as well whether that is writing a novel someday or writing a legal opinion that ends up becoming precedent. Ultimately, she wants to make a difference and positive impact in the world wherever she goes.

Despite the hardships, trials, and transitions that Trevi has endured throughout her life, she has continued to see the positives in those and work hard in everything she does. Those experiences have taught her different life lessons that she still carries with her. With this positive attitude and fresh perspective, she is going to be able to accomplish a lot moving forward. Hard work and perseverance are two of the most important qualities that will get you far in life.

Don’t be surprised if you see a major novel or legal opinion from Trevi in the near future or maybe you’ll see her running for office someday if she moves more towards politics. Wherever it is that God places her, she has a bright future ahead with her mindset.