Jake Veenstra is making the most of his senior year at Eastern Christian. From the classroom to the soccer field, he seizes every opportunity to prepare for the future while embracing the present — knowing that he will soon say goodbye to the peers, teachers, and coaches who have impacted his life on our campus. But there is an exciting journey ahead. Jake plans to pursue a career in journalism, and has his eye on colleges in both Connecticut and Washington, D.C.
A Schedule for Success
Jake starts his day in Psychology class before moving on to his SOAR period, an acronym that stands for Student Opted Academic Resource. During this 40-minute session, students can engage in a wide variety of activities from music to gardening, and sports to Bible studies.
After SOAR, Jake moves on to a class that has helped him develop his passion for writing: Advanced Journalism. In his own words, “My journalism teacher, Mrs. Genuario, gives me advice from her personal experiences and is always there to answer questions and improve my abilities.” In this class, Jake has explored the principles and practices of journalism, while preparing for further study in college.
Before he knows it, he’s headed to lunch and starting the second half of his day, taking classes in American History, Biblical Theology, and Physical Education. Afternoons are filled with practices and games, as Jake is on the soccer, basketball, and track teams at Eastern Christian.
Finding the Balance
Even with Jake’s full academic and athletic schedule, he finds time to volunteer and serve as a youth leader in his community. He says the support of his teachers, counselors, and coaches at Eastern Christian has taught him a lot about balancing it all and staying focused on his goals. “I’m trying to be as involved as I can so I can truly cherish my high school experience,” he explained. “My teachers are extremely supportive, and my coaches not only care about my performance on the field, but in the classroom and in my future. Eastern Christian’s College and Career Counselor, Jesse Struck, has also helped Jake keep his future at the forefront of his mind, answering questions and giving college advice as needed. “He has provided a lot of clarification and guidance, enabling me to find my direction and interests,” Jake said.
Preparing for the Future
Being prepared for the future involves more than a strong academic background. Jake believes his time at Eastern Christian has prepared him spiritually and socially as well. “Through Christian teachers, Bible classes, and chapel, I have been challenged spiritually, and taught how to defend my faith,” he explained. “With social events, our school promotes friendships with a wide variety of people, which creates an accepting and inviting community where we can encourage each other in our faith.”
Senior Life Lessons
Jake says his advice for future seniors is to remain focused on the future and to take advantage of the opportunities available in the last year of high school. He’s eagerly awaiting the annual senior trip, an overnight stay in Washington, D.C., which allows the senior class to explore the city’s history and spend quality time with each other before high school finishes up.
Jake shared some of his own words for seniors to live by:
“Stay focused and do not let senioritis come your way. Overcome it and finish strong. This is your last year, so get involved! Go to games and other social events, and make friends with anyone and everyone. Live in the moment, and don’t let the pressures of college planning get in the way of your friendships, academics, and personal goals. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy it — because it goes fast!”
Learn More About Eastern Christian Schools
Eastern Christian is full of students like Jake, who are motivated, engaged, and committed. Our school community encourages spiritual growth, academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, and college prep. If you would like to learn more, we invite you to contact us and schedule a visit today!