Paul Granberry III attends National Prayer Breakfast

While the National Prayer Breakfast may be a decades-old tradition, it became a new tradition for one Missouri Western student this year. Paul Granberry III became the first student ever to represent Missouri Western at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. from February 1–5, 2017.

Granberry, a sophomore accounting major and student senator, was one of only 100 students worldwide selected to attend the prestigious event. He said he was blessed to be able to take part in the breakfast.

“It was overwhelming,” Granberry said. “3,000 people are able to take a weekend out of their life, out of their careers, in order to come together under one purpose; and that’s to better each other . . . under the same principles and values.”

Besides opportunities to hear from world leaders and other speakers, the eclectic gathering also offered students the opportunity to engage in small group discussion. Granberry’s group alone featured students from the University of Washington, Virginia Tech, Georgia University, and the University of Maryland.

Granberry first got the idea to attend the event in October when he connected with one David Gouch at the National Student Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. Gouch advised Granberry to try to go to the breakfast.

“In order to be the person you want to become, you have to establish those relationships,” Granberry said, stressing the importance of support among leaders. “You have to have those connections in order to stay sane.”

Granberry said he believes it is important for students to remain steadfast in their faith and values throughout their college careers and adult lives.

“Students are kind of being transformed to be in this place where either you have to go 100 miles per hour or you will get left behind,” Granberry said. “If you take the time out of your day to think back and reflect, I believe that you’re able to not only stay on pace, but strive to be the head of the pack.”

Missouri Western Vice President for Student Affairs Shana Meyer was partially responsible for helping Granberry acquire the funding to be able to make the trip to Washington for the National Prayer Breakfast. Meyer said it was an honor to have Missouri Western represented at the event, and she gave a lot of credit to Granberry for his efforts.

“Anytime one of our students has an outside opportunity, we want to support that,” Meyer said. “It gives them leadership experience, it gives them a better worldview, and it helps others learn about Missouri Western too, so of course I was in full support.”

The annual gathering of world leaders, congressmen and cabinet members is held on the first Thursday of February every year.

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