One’s attitude is like a lens through which we see the world.  Positive people see life through a lens of clear and even rose-colored glasses, while negative people peer through a dark and gloomy lens.  It is often the power of perspective, and we know one Davis & Elkins College student has been choosing positivity since an early age.

Roy Gannon is a junior Hospitality and Tourism major from a small town at the base of the Cascade Mountains in the High Desert of central Oregon.  Having participated in competitive gymnastics most of her life, she was attracted to Davis & Elkins College by our Acrobatics and Tumbling Team as well as her chosen major.  The first time she set foot in West Virginia was her move-in day at D&E.

Roy admits there was an adjustment period to college life, as well as becoming acclimated to the humid West Virginia climate after growing up in the arid desert.  Yet, she is grateful that she made the decision to become a D&E Senator.  An eagerness to travel 2,586 miles from home to attend college is the first indication of Roy’s positive attitude.  She has embraced her new home in the mountains of Randolph County, opened herself to academic pursuits, challenged herself as a collegiate athlete, assumed the presidency of her sorority, and made lifelong friends.

Roy’s zest for life is evident in her love and participation in pageants since the age of 12.  As a senior in high school, she won the title of National American Miss Oregon Teen.  Upon arriving in her new home state of West Virginia, she took advantage of the opportunity to compete in the National American Miss Pageant and won the title of National American Miss West Virginia this past summer.  She recently competed in the national pageant in Orlando, Florida.  “I had an absolute blast…and I am so proud to represent my college and West Virginia,” Roy shared with me.

Roy’s optimistic attitude is reflected in her platform as Miss West Virginia.  It is called “#IGotThis.”  This motto to motivate isn’t just a saying, rather it guides her life as a busy student, college athlete, resident assistant, and campus leader.  “Even if you had a bad day, you know the next one is going to be better,” Gannon said. “It’s also useful when you feel overwhelmed because it helps you stick to your plan.  By putting positivity out in the world, you will get positivity back.  #IGotThis is what I tell myself every single day as a reminder to stay positive.”  Roy hands out silicon bracelets customized with the hashtag #IGOTTHIS.  She even gave one to her College President.  “If I could offer advice to soon-to-be alums it would be don’t let the word ‘no’ stop you.  Embrace the challenge and work harder to change that ‘no’ to a ‘yes’.”

As Roy thinks of her future, she is considering graduate school and possibly coaching in Acrobatics and Tumbling.  Eventually, she wants to put her major to work in the event planning industry in Las Vegas.  Wherever and whatever Roy eventually lands, with her positive attitude as her lens on life, she will be a success.  I am quite sure that she’s “#GotThis!”

The journey continues….

Chris A. Wood
Davis & Elkins College