What do you love about Eastern Christian School?
I think the thing that I love most (there are quite a few) is the community that connects students. We’re a medium-sized school I would like to think, but it really feels like a large family – as cliche as it might sound. Every day that I walk into school it just feels like home. That’s not to say that everyday is sunshine and rainbows, but it really has felt like to me the past 4 years that we’re all apart of a community connected by love, genuine respect, and care for one another’s wellbeing. It’s one of the things that I think is rarely found at other places that I wish I would have appreciated sooner.
Describe one of your favorite teachers and tell why he/she is a favorite.
My favorite faculty member would be Mr. I because of how down-to-earth and open he is; talking to him is like talking to a friend, a really inspiring friend at that. In terms of teachers, I have a deep appreciation and love for Dr. Yoder. If it’s a teacher’s job to inspire and instill passion within their students, Dr. Yoder succeeds tremendously. For me, she’s always challenging me as a musician in Honors Choir and also genuinely cares about all of us – sometimes we’ll spend the first 40 minutes of class praying for one another because of how concerned and truly invested she is in our lives.
In what ways have you grown in your faith as a result of your experience at Eastern Christian School?
I think helping to lead worship during chapels has been instrumental in my faith growth throughout high school. When I first came to EC, I was so against joining the Chapel team, mainly due to insecurity over the vulnerability that comes with singing to and for God publicly. However, once I joined, I realized how great it was to sing with and worship with other people who were both passionate about music and driven for God. I didn’t realize that I would enjoy it as much as I did and definitely was not expecting for it to impact my daily life in any way, but I was happily proven wrong.
At Eastern Christian we talk about an education that is “Engaging. Nurturing. Transforming.” How did you experience this kind of education at EC?
I feel like the education I’ve been able to gain at EC has been multidimensional. In our Humanities class, I was definitely engaged with the material and coursework that we studied throughout the four years of the program, material that, to me, really tackled universal elements of what it means to be a human and themes that a lot of people can relate to. It was also really cool to grow as I progressed through the program; while it is writing-intensive and guided by teachers somewhat at the beginning, as the program progressed I became more and more independent in my work habits and independent learning of the material – mainly because I had to in order to succeed in the class. While challenging, I think that the program definitely helped me to grow and transform for the better as a person, along with helping me to refine my identity along the way through a ton of in-depth readings that I didn’t realize I would enjoy so much.
How do you feel that EC prepared you for graduation, college/career and life?
Not only do I feel like I’ve been challenged academically by the classes I’ve taken here, I think that EC’s community, clubs, and musical activities have really helped me to “come into my own” and give me a space to find out who I am. That’s not to say that I know everything about myself because I’ll always be growing and learning, but I really think that, throughout the past four years, I’ve been given ample opportunities to find what I’m interested in, passionate about, and really discover who I am. Although there’s always time to figure things out, EC has really helped me to become confident in who I am and grow stronger in my faith, no matter how far away I may be from home or the environment.
What opportunities did you experience at EC that you don’t think you would have gotten to experience anywhere else?
The first semester of my Senior Year I was able to do an internship at a recording studio in Hackensack through the WINGS Program run by Mr. Wright, which was very cool. As someone who is deeply passionate about music, being able to do what I love at a professional level helped me to further realize what I’m specifically passionate about when it comes to music and was just an overall fun experience. Additionally, singing at Carnegie Hall with Honors Choir during Junior Year was an incredible experience. Not only was the singing itself fun, but it was a great bonding experience for everyone in the choir (along with Mr. I and Dr. Yoder too!).
What would you say to a prospective student considering joining Eastern Christian School?
Come! If you want to grow and challenge yourself while being surrounded by teachers and friends who genuinely care about your wellbeing, EC definitely is the place for you. I would also say to students who even are at EC already to appreciate the special place that we’re all a part of, it’s unique and I know I’m definitely going to miss it.