Campus Community & Pursuing Your Passions with Laya

Segment #2 from University of Portland


I can’t wait for you to meet Laya, who like 70% of UP’s students hails from outside the state of Oregon. She’s all about exploring. And with the Pacific Ocean an hour west and Mount Hood’s in our East, UP is the perfect place for discovery in the classroom and out. Laya, you are up.

– Thanks Alex. Hey y’all, I honestly had no idea where to start when it came to deciding on the college. I grew up in a small town in Texas and the only thing I did know is I definitely wanted to go out of state for school. I first visited Oregon my junior year of high school and I kind of fell in love with the trees here. So when I found out Forest Park, which is one of the largest urban parks in the nation and it’s just across the road from campus, it has over 80 miles of hiking trails, I knew I had to go to UP. University of Portland has given me a perfect home base to explore the Pacific Northwest. When I’m not hiking in Forest Park, I make day trips to Cannon Beach with my friends, and road trips up to Olympic National Park. And the Outdoor Pursuits program also offers group trips, plus all the gear go hiking, camping, kayaking, even rock climbing nearly every week. I’ve also been doing a lot of exploring on campus. I knew I wanted to study political science, but I also love creative writing and theater, and I was kind of worried I’d have to choose, but the classes and clubs here at UP allow me to pursue all of my interests. I even have the opportunity to stop my own writing club. I also became a Moreau Center Service and Justice Coordinator in my residence hall, which has given me a new perspective of what doing my part to better the community really looks like. UP is so intentional in ensuring every student has the knowledge, support, and opportunities to pursue whatever sparks their interest. I’ve learned there’s no better place to find or fulfill your passions that among the supportive and genuinely welcome community at UP. That’s all for me, take it away, Alex.

– Laya standing in the heart of campus overlooking the city of Portland with tall trees as far as the eye can see, I definitely agree. The idyllic Pacific Northwest is brimming with opportunity. It’s great to see you taking full advantage of your liberal arts education and pursuing your passions. Thanks again.

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