I may not be new to the Justin, but I am new to the Justin staff. I am beyond excited to be joining the team this summer as the new youth ministries summer intern! I have just completed my 3rd year at UT Austin and knew that I would already be around the Justin volunteering as much as I could, so I was very excited to be offered the intern position for the summer. I have grown up in this church and youth program and have continued as a volunteer since graduating high school. I am looking forward to creating more meaningful relationships with the youth in this program as I go through this summer and look forward to continuing building on the relationships, I have already created with some of the youth I have already come to know.
I have been extremely fortunate to have grown up in this church and this community. My parents joined this church in the late 90s and so I was born into it. I was baptized by Dr. Mike Marshall as an infant, attended Sunday school all throughout my elementary years, went through confirmation in the foundation building with Rev. Phyllis Barren leading, and I participated heavily throughout my time in the youth program and going on as many trips and attending as many Sunday nights as I could (even if many of them were spent crying because I have too many big emotions). This church has brought me some of my best friends (including new full time youth ministries staff member, Claire Manno) and I have built relationships with many unexpected people which I would not trade for the world.
Working with children (and youth) has always been a passion of mine and it was through this church that I learned that about myself. At UT, I am studying special education, in hopes of being a special education teacher come fall of 2023. I truly feel like it is the path I am supposed to be on. I have loved every minute of my experiences in the classroom and with children, as well as in this building, leading youth in different trips and activities, and even more so being a youth on all of the trips and having the opportunities to interact with different groups of kids. I have taken a lot from what I have learned through places like Camp Barnabas and the church’s own trips, such as mission day camp and middle school mission blitz, and have been able to apply it to what I am learning at UT and look forward to one day applying it to my own classroom.
As much as I hope to make an impact on the youth here, I know they will make an even bigger impact on me. I am so excited to be here and cannot wait to see what this summer will teach me.