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Amanda Starcher Miller: Grateful for TFA’s Impact

I graduated from The First Academy in 2012, and have been more grateful for its impact every year since. Following graduation, I went on to earn my bachelor’s degree at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida, where I had a double major in Interpersonal and Organizational Communications, and Advertising and Public Relations, along with a minor in Psychology. I now work as Marketing Coordinator for Broad and Cassel LLP, a statewide Florida law firm.

In making the transition to a brand new college environment with unique challenges and full independence, I instantly realized how important my experience at TFA was already proving to be. Coming from such an encouraging high school community, I felt emboldened to live in a way that was consistent with my beliefs, regardless of whether or not those around me were doing the same. As I pursued my own relationship with God as a priority, I found a new depth of faith, and then was able to get involved in campus ministries and service organizations that further strengthened my faith and led me to many incredible and lasting friendships that made me feel so loved and rooted in what would be my home for three and a half years.

One of those friendships that became so important to me was my relationship with my now husband Joey Miller. We met as a part of the campus ministry band, and rejoicing in the love of God through music has remained an important part of our lives ever since. Joey is currently in his third year of medical school, which has meant a good amount of relocating in our short married life so far. We currently live in South Florida, where we enjoy involvement in our church through membership in a wonderful small group, participation in the worship band, and leadership in the church’s youth group. I remember high school to be such a pivotal time in my growth as an individual and a Christian, and it is one of my greatest joys to be a part of that time in the life of these kids.

It is difficult to point to one or two faculty members or teachers in particular who have had an impact on me. In general, TFA provided an atmosphere that encouraged genuine growth spiritually and personally. I always felt so comfortable being myself, while being pushed toward growth and discovery of my Savior. Friendships I made at TFA will last a lifetime because of the authenticity and depth on which they were built. I am forever grateful to The First Academy for preparing me to succeed and giving me the foundation and confidence to continue to grow. Even more importantly, though, I am grateful to The First Academy for instilling truths about God and about who I am in Him that have remained a constant through all of the change, both exciting and difficult, that I’ve faced since graduation. I recognize how truly rare that is in a high school experience and I could not be more thankful for the leadership at TFA and every faculty member and teacher who made intentional decisions to go out of their way to be an example of that truth at such an important time in my life.

 

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