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As a Rutgers University student, Alicia Ulaikere recently had an opportunity to minister to someone in her dorm room. She says she felt compelled to tell her about the Lord in that moment of darkness.

“Sometimes you think maybe she doesn’t want to hear about God,” says Ulaikere. “But she opened up to me that night and I was so shocked. It was like God really ordered our steps. Ever since then, we have moved forward, encouraging each other to read the Bible, and talking about what we’re thankful for. Me being open about my faith, not being ashamed about it, having that courage to speak about what I believe, really helped her that day.”

Ulaikere, who graduated in 2022 and is currently studying electrical and computer engineering, says she is thankful for EC classes like physics and chemistry, which were the first required classes she had to take in the engineering program. “Everything that was covered at EC was literally covered in our classes at Rutgers…I actually knew what I was doing. It was not unfamiliar and that helped a lot. A lot of other people were struggling.”

Yet although she felt prepared for college-level coursework, what she is most thankful for is the Christian foundation she received at Eastern Christian School that kept her on the right path. She says faith integration in classes, weekly chapel, and a Bible class in her senior year “helped ground me in what I really believed in and what I stood by. When I got into the university, I wasn’t wayward. I was grounded in my roots, which was Jesus Christ. I knew where I stood.”

Ulaikere’s story is one of relying on the Lord to direct her paths. “He leads you in the right direction even when you don’t know that’s the direction you’re going to go,” she says.

Nevertheless, Ulaikere has made intentional commitments to stay strong in the Lord while in college. She found a Christian roommate, and together they formed a larger group of Christian friends who started an informal Bible study on campus. “Finding that group of people is one thing I intentionally decided to do…you know that Bible verse, you have to find friends that sharpen you as iron sharpens iron,” she says.

Ulaikere also stays active in the local church through online small groups during the week and regular in-person worship on Sundays. She’s had an opportunity to invite the girl in her dorm to her church’s Bible study and they’ve consistently attended together. Now, she’s considered one of Ulaikere’s closest friends.

As for Eastern Christian, she credits her school experience for cultivating a passion in her to share her story of faith. In particular, she remembers a very special Bible class where students became vulnerable. “That class really touched me. It made me realize there is a lot of hope for our generation in terms of getting people connected to Christ and involved in their Christian walk,” she says.

Now with that foundation in place, Ulaikere seeks to continue to walk in the light and be a light to those she meets. “As Christians, as much as we build a relationship with God, we also have to spread the good news about this relationship, to say this is the Jesus that I know. Spreading this testimony and being consistent in my walk is something EC encouraged me in,” she says. “Our relationship with God shouldn’t be a second-hand thing. It should be everything. That’s what EC grounded me in.”

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