As flowers sprout up from the ground and signs of spring are all around, five seniors at STCH Ministries are preparing for a new season in their life. Another year of studying, homework, and semester exams is nearing an end and our seniors will soon walk the stage and receive their high school diplomas from Pettus ISD. These five students have been with us at Boothe Campus from two to four years and each one has created lasting relationships with staff and friends around the campus, while making memories that will last a lifetime.
Isaiah Moreno has lived at Homes for Children for about two years now. He plans to attend Coastal Bend College in Beeville for his basics and later transfer to Texas A&M University-Kingsville to major in psychology. Isaiah has had many memorable moments during his two years, but his best one yet is a very fresh one.
“My favorite memory just happened recently. I was baptized!” exclaims Isaiah.
After a conversation about baptism with a youth leader at his church, he says he realized the importance of this public profession of his acceptance of Jesus as Savior.
Isaiah said he is thankful for many things, most of all for the opportunity to attend college with the cost covered by the STCH Ministries Educational Scholarship Program. This program makes higher education possible for the young adults who graduate while in care at STCH Ministries.
Haley Hummel has lived at STCH Ministries for almost two years. She said she is still weighing her options beyond high school but does see college in her future.
Haley recalled that her best times at the children’s home actually came at a rough time in her life. “One of my favorite memories would have to be working with my goat last year, even though at the time I was definitely not the happiest.” She explained how this activity was therapeutic. “The animals calmed me and made me happy.”
She is thankful to have the opportunity to finish high school and the possibility of college. A word of advice Haley shared is, “If someone tries to lend a helping hand, take it. You can’t do everything on your own.” She then cites 1 John 3:17 which reads, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”
Erin DeCola has lived at STCH Ministries just shy of three years. She plans on going to Coastal Bend College in Beeville for two years and then transferring to Lamar University in Beaumont to major in Special Education.
Erin lights up when remembering her favorite day at the children’s home. “The first summer I was here, we went paintballing in prom dresses for Girl’s Day!”
She is thankful for the countless opportunities that she has been given by living at Boothe Campus.
Erin offers a word of advice to those behind her. “Don’t procrastinate! Before you know it you will be standing in alphabetical order in your cap and gown wondering where time went.”
Joshua Parker has lived at STCH Ministries for over 3 years.
“My plans for after graduation are to go to college, take my basics, and major in kinesiology,” he says.
Joshua plans to attend a community college and then transfer to a university. When reminiscing about his favorite memories, Josh particularly enjoyed summers at Boothe Campus. He recalled hanging out with friends and staff on campus and attending summer camp at Camp Zephyr.
Joshua also enjoyed the vocational training program on campus, where young people have the opportunity to work alongside staff members and see various aspects of their jobs.
“Mr. Kelsey has been a huge influence in my life. I enjoyed working with him and getting to know him more,” says Joshua. “I am thankful for all the staff at STCH. They are so much fun and really kind.”
Mary Herschberger has lived at STCH Ministries for four years. She is working hard to finish at the top of her class and plans to spend her summer working at Camp Zephyr. In the fall she will attend the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and plans to major in social work.
When asked what she wants to do with her social work degree, Mary replied, “I just know it’s going to be with kids. I know that one of my options would be coming back to STCH for a job.”
Mary says her fondest memories come from raising her animals for the stock show, especially her steer. She is thankful for the opportunity to have met the houseparents and staff at the children’s home. She says they have shown her the type of love that doesn’t have to be earned.
In just a short time, these five graduates will embark into the next phase of their lives. As has been the case with many past students, staff members at STCH Ministries say they eagerly anticipate the visits during holidays, on weekends, and when these young adults just need a listening ear.
“Everyone at STCH Ministries looks forward to seeing what God has in store and will be cheering these seniors on each step of the way, praying for them, and sharing in their excitement during this momentous time,” said Mark Childs, Vice President of STCH Ministries Homes for Children. “Congratulations, class of 2018!”