Students Zumba for Whimsy Scholarship

Students celebrate Kelsie Layman's birthday with a Zumba party. | Photo by Hayley Lievers

The Bowld gym was full of life and energy as students, family and friends gathered around Kelsie Layman to celebrate her birthday and help raise money for her spring semester scholarship.

Even President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver showed up with his wife Susie to support Layman—and Zumba in his bowtie. The gym was transformed into a pink and purple Zumba studio with signs reading: “We love you Kelsie,” and “Happy birthday Kelsie.”

At the front of the room, Layman helped lead her friends and admirers throughout the party. She stood next to Hope Graves, a Zumba instructor from Gold’s Gym in Jackson.

Her birthday celebration was open to the public, and sororities and fraternities from Union University were also there including Chi Omega, Kappa Delta, Zeta Tau Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the cheer squad. Each attendee was encouraged to donate $10 to add to Layman’s scholarship.

Layman is a bubbly student who is currently in Union’s EDGE program. She is the first recipient of the Whimsy Scholarship, a fund designed just for women who are important, valued and have a purpose. This scholarship is special for Layman and her family because EDGE students do not have the typical options for student loans and scholarships.

A while back, God put a special mission on the heart of three women, Fran Thomas, Robyn Newman and Christy Treadway. They felt a special burden for young girls who need to know that God loves them, that they are important, valued, have purpose and that they do not have to be what the world tells them they need to be or live up to a certain standard.

Their passion for empowering women in Christ eventually turned into a special nonprofit organization: More than a Mission Trip. More than a Mission Trip provided the Whimsy Scholarship for Layman’s fall semester and the desire is to match that scholarship for the spring.

“Kelsie was born with Downs Syndrome 25 years ago,” said Thomas, scholarship coordinator for Union University. “Her spirit and personality are beautifully reflective in the gospel of Mark 10:14-15.”

For more information, visit More than a Mission Trip online and learn how you can contribute.