Hiemstra finds direction early


by Andrea Kemp

Many freshmen enter their first year at Simpson uncertain of what direction they want to take with their career, let alone their life.

Megan Hiemstra is not one of those freshmen.

This Newton native is passionate about web design – and has her own company to prove it.

Last May, Hiemstra founded Rise and Shine Web Design to help those who want a Web site, but lack the skills to set up their own.

Hiemstra sums up her company’s purpose simply: “Its for those who aren’t very good with computers or Web design.”

Hiemstra’s other passion is youth ministry. While working at a religious summer camp in high school, Hiemstra was moved by the way the kids’ lives were touched by God, so she decided to pursue that interest in college.

She’s currently doing her work-study at Smith Chapel where she said she’s impressed by the number and variety of programs students can get involved in. And, as far as getting involved with religious life at Simpson, Hiemstra recommends going straight to the source.

“Definitely drop by the Chapel,” she said.

During her college visits as a senior in high school, Hiemstra was impressed by the friendly atmosphere at Simpson compared to the other schools she visited.

“I haven’t found anyone who’s been nicer,” Hiemstra said.

Even though she uses a wheelchair due to an early onset of arthritis in her limbs known as arthogriposis, Hiemstra doesn’t let the condition hold her back.

“Its just something I’ve learned to live with,” Hiemstra said.

She has been impressed with Simpson’s faculty in terms of accommodation.

“They try their hardest,” she said. “I’m very grateful.”

Hiemstra is a double-major in religion and computer science, and she participates in a Bible-study group as well as CAB.

While she cites accessibility as an obstacle when getting around at Simpson, Hiemstra is still enjoying her college experience.

“I definitely love the campus and the people,” Hiemstra said.