At what grade level did you start at The First Academy?
I started attending TFA in Kindergarten (2004).
What were the reasons you or your parents chose The First Academy?
My parents were in the midst of a divorce at the time and I believe they chose TFA to put my brother and I in a stable environment where we could learn how to be children of God. The First Academy provided counseling and a normal educative life for me when my home life was not so normal.
Are you involved in extracurricular activities? If so, what are they and have you received awards in these activities? (These can be affiliated with TFA or outside of school)
Soccer is a hobby that I have played ever since I can remember. At 12, I began to play competitively which is when I desired to be a goalkeeper in college. I had received multiple accolades with my club team throughout the years in the various tournaments. Also, I have been a part of the growing soccer program at TFA through elementary to high school level. I have played on the Lady Royals Varsity Soccer Team since the 8th grade, and our team has won 5 consecutive District Championships.
Which colleges have you applied to and which ones have you be accepted to thus far? (Please include if you have made a decision to attend a certain college next year)
My college plans are in God’s hands. I am in the process of applying to Samford University, University of Florida, Clemson University, and the University of Central Florida.
What do you plan to study in college and what are your long-term career goals?
The decision on major is typically one that changes. But the current plan is to go on a Pre-Med track. I’d like to become an OB/GYN specialist and take my skills to serve overseas in places like Africa. I want to give women a chance to be mothers in places as such without fearing that the may lose their life or their child’s life.
Have you received any college scholarships? If so, which ones? (Or, which ones are your currently nominated for)
I have not received nor have I applied for any college scholarships, but I do plan to apply. With soccer, I had to make a decision my junior year whether or not I still wanted to pursue a soccer scholarship, but I decided against it. Quitting club to focus on my studies was probably one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make. But my commitment to my studies trumps my commitment to a sport. Don’t we go to college to further our education?
Who is/are your favorite TFA teacher(s), and why? (Teachers can be K4-12)
This is the most difficult question to answer because TFA is filled with teachers who each have impacted my life. But if I had to choose, I’d say Coach Oliver is a favorite. I took his Anatomy Honors class 3rd period which is right after chapel on Thursdays and if the Holy Spirit moved Coach Oliver, he’d teach about God first. He was transparent with us and challenged his students to continually pursue God, especially in the midst of the muck. He’d encourage us and teach us right and wrong according to Scripture. He not only challenged me academically with his course but also spiritually. God spoke through him to me and it was very special to see how Coach Oliver truly lived with God first in all that he did.
How has TFA made a difference in, or impacted your life?
Coming to TFA impacted my life by giving me a stable structure, and little did I know that they were teaching me how to consistently rely on the solid rock that is Jesus Christ. I don’t believe I would be an active believer today if it weren’t for TFA. I accepted Christ because I was taught that He was a father that loved me, and there was a hole in my heart that only Christ could fill. The woman I have grown to be today is, not only because of the standard TFA has held me to, but also teaching me to hold myself to, so that I might represent Christ well no matter the circumstance.
How do you feel that The First Academy has prepared you for life after graduation?
TFA has prepared me so that when the storm is rough and I am bending beneath the wind that I know I am rooted in Christ. I feel ready to get out of the “bubble” so that my faith may be strengthened in a way that it hasn’t been before. TFA, through the Bible courses, has taught me not only how to live as a follower of Christ but also how to defend my faith and how to have a conversation with others about who Jesus is. It has given me all the information and I’m ready to be immersed into an environment where I will encounter more people daily who will question me on my faith.
What does it mean to you to be a TFA alumni?
It will be an honor to be a TFA alumni. Going into college and when people ask what high school I went to, I will be able to enlighten them about the school that changed my life, which will hopefully lead into a conversation about Jesus. Because TFA is the school that it is, it is an instrument I will use to be able to talk about Jesus and I think that is so cool. TFA doesn’t just change the lives of those who attend but also has the ability to change the lives of others if the attendees obey Jesus’ commandment to make disciples. I am not ashamed to be a child of God just as I will not be ashamed to be a TFA alumni.
To see our previous senior spotlight article on Lauren Connell, please click HERE!