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Alumni Spotlight: Mary Margaret (Collingsworth) West

From the time I started at TFA in Kindergarten until I graduated in 2002, I experienced some of the most formative time of my life. Often when I think back on the most influential people in my life, many of the teachers from that season come to mind. Some of my favorite memories include serving as Student Government President my senior year and being a member of the Thespian Society, in addition to the lifelong relationships I built.

After graduation, I went on to pursue a degree in Communication from Dallas Baptist University, and during that time I started serving in my local church as a small group leader in the student ministry. I had no idea how that one decision would change the trajectory of my life, but I dove headfirst into serving students in the local church and it served as the backdrop for my call to ministry a few years later. I went on to serve as a Girls Minister on several church staff teams, and then to New Orleans Seminary to pursue a masters degree. In 2012, I graduated with a Master of Arts in Christian Education with a specialization in Youth Ministry, and I love how I’m getting to use my degree in my current role.

God’s call on my life has been clear, and I know that the foundation I received at TFA is a huge part of what He has done over the years. I’ve had the privilege of working at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee for the last six years, currently serving as the Girls Ministry Specialist. My first book, Show Her The Way: Your Guide to Discipling Teen Girls, released earlier this year, and I get to host LifeWay Women’s {MARKED} Podcast. I consider it a privilege to help equip and train ministry leaders through my job.

I met my husband Jonathan in the spring of 2017, and we were married on January 13, 2018! It has been such a fun season of life, and we’re excited for what God has in store for our future. We live in Franklin, Tennessee, where he serves as the Facilities Supervisor at Rolling Hills Community Church.

While I’ve lived a lot of places, Orlando will always be home, and The First Academy will always be the place where I learned to put character before career, where wisdom has always gone well beyond scholarship, I was taught to put service before self, and I saw what it looked like to participate as a way of life. I’m forever grateful for the faculty and staff who invested in me and will always be proud to have been a part of the legacy of TFA.

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