Howard Payne University senior Hailey Osborne of Corsicana has been a part of a big family for a significant part of her life, something that has shaped and inspired her vision for the future.
Osborne, who will graduate from HPU on Saturday, is majoring in social sciences with an emphasis in jurisprudence and minoring in psychology. Her academic pursuits are rooted in her life story. Her family served as a foster family from 2010 until 2017, also adopting three children they fostered. She finds inspiration for her future in her experiences serving as a supplementary caretaker for the children in her life.
“I’ve always loved kids,” she said. “I’ve always had a kid on my hip since I was young. I was always the oldest – the oldest grandchild, oldest kid. Since we were a foster family, I actually want to be a child advocate.”
Since coming to HPU, the students, faculty and staff of HPU have helped to teach her a valuable lesson, one that extends beyond the classroom.
“You can always grow, but everybody thinks about growing in their jobs or growing in other things,” she said. “I’ve learned from these people how to grow, not only in my job but with Christ as well.”
Similar to its impact on her potential career choice, family influenced her decision to attend HPU. Her grandmother graduated from HPU in 1977 and her grandfather graduated in 1982. An aunt also graduated from the university in 2002. As she prepared to choose what university to attend, her family encouraged her to look at HPU. Osborne attended Navarro College after her graduation from high school in 2016 and planned to attend the University of Houston following the completion of an associate’s degree. However, with continued prompting from family, she looked to HPU.
“I got accepted to HPU within a month and got everything together scholarship-wise – it was a pretty quick process,” she said, “I was really surprised by the quick turnaround. I decided to come here, and here I am.”
Osborne has become involved in many aspects of student life during her time in college. She is a member of the executive councils of local HPU sorority Chi Alpha Omega and the recently formed Black Student Association. She also plays for the Yellow Jacket women’s tennis team.
Her natural inclination for leadership has influenced the roles she now fills within various areas of student life.
“Leadership has always been in my blood, especially being the oldest sibling,” she said. “I’ve always had a driven mindset – my parents have always instilled that into me, since I was young.”
However, Osborne also noted that the faith-led leadership she has experienced at HPU has influenced positive change in the way she chooses to lead, as well as how she lives out her own faith.
“I know when I was younger, in certain situations I would turn to praying with a person, but that wasn’t the first option,” she said. “Before, I might have been kind of hesitant, but now I’m more open to praying with people about their problems.”
As she looks to life after graduation, she is making plans to attend Sam Houston State University to earn a master’s degree in criminal justice. Before leaving HPU, she has been sure to continue the Osborne legacy at the university.
“My brother will be here in the fall,” she said. “I’ve been talking HPU up since I’ve been here. I told him, if you allow it to, it will change you.”
Applications are being accepted for the fall 2019 semester at Howard Payne University (www.hputx.edu/apply). For more information about HPU, contact the Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cutline: HPU graduating senior Hailey Osborne has turned a passion to work with children into a pursuit of a career as a child advocate.