January 16, 2020 | TFA Communications |
I graduated from The First Academy in 2014, and then went on to receive my B.S. degree from Florida State University in 2018. I am the youngest of three brothers, all of which graduated from TFA. My oldest brother, Bobby, age 28, graduated from TFA in 2010 and went on to receive his B.S. degree from the University of South Florida. He currently lives in Tampa, FL and works in commercial real estate. My middle brother, Stephen, graduated from TFA in 2011 and then received his B.S. degree from The Citadel. He currently lives in Fort Benning in Columbus, GA and is a Captain in the Army. My father, Bob, works in Tampa and leads the Tampa Chamber of Commerce. My mother, Sue, was a teacher at TFA for many years. Currently, she lives in Tampa with my father and volunteers at Idlewild Baptist Church and Sulphur Springs Church.
I currently live in Orlando and work for Family First, a Tampa based non-profit. I work in Business Development and Donor Relations, and I travel to Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and all over Orlando partnering with families and businesses to grow our organization. I attend Celebration Church in downtown Orlando, and I am involved in two young adult groups.
My time at The First Academy was filled with many impactful teachers and staff, but of course a few stand out. First, Mr. Kowars, my 11th grade English teacher, had an incredible impact on my life. He taught me how to truly enjoy education, how to properly write, and how to treat others. Coach Oliver, my lacrosse coach for many years and my 11th-grade anatomy teacher, will forever be a man I hold in the highest regard. He showed both his students and his players how to work diligently and reap the benefits of hard work, and his love for Jesus was always so clear. Coach Kinard, my football coach for many years, had an incredible impact on my life as well.
Much like Coach Oliver, Coach Kinard pushed me, and our whole team, to reach our fullest potential. He taught us how discipline in football translated to discipline in life, and how our reputation for how we treat others, how we handle ourselves, and how we walk in faith is of utmost importance. Last but not least, Dr. Toenges, my 12th-grade apologetics teacher, helped prepare me for the secular world I was about to face once I left TFA. Although my faith was not and is still not perfect, he was pivotal in my preparation by strengthening my understanding of scripture and showing me how to defend my faith to others when questioned.