Rancho Cucamonga, CA | 19 years old
Two years ago, my life shifted in a direction of constant awareness of worldview due to being a student at the first ever Summit California session. My small group leader, Cara, was such an inspiration to me, and I became passionate about what Summit Student Conferences were doing in a world so prone to wandering. I knew that I had to apply to staff.
So, this year, I did it. I took the leap. I stressed, prayed, interviewed, and coordinated my schedule to make myself as good of an applicant to staff as possible. By some miracle from heaven, I got it! I began preparing (well, over-preparing) immediately, but it turns out nothing I did or could have done would come close to preparing me for the reality of being a Summit staffer.
I’ve learned that to lead, you need to listen.
As a small group leader, I watch where conversations are going and keep everyone on track, not necessarily on the track I might have picked left to my own devices. Also, I had to recognize that I don’t have every answer. Acknowledging that publicly and up front made me human, transparent, and approachable to the girls I was leading. Finally, I learned not to shy away from hard things. I would never have guessed how much eight 15-year old girls could possibly go through before coming to Summit, nor would I have been able to tell you how much they were going to be willing to talk about it.
I could not encourage someone to make the sacrifice and be a servant leader for three weeks out of their summer enough. I can’t verbally describe how vital it is to their own spirituality, that of their small group, the Summit program as a whole, and even society. My life will forever be impacted by the mark these wonderful young women left on my heart. I watched them grow mentally and emotionally in addition to spiritually over these past two weeks, transforming into completely new people they may have never recognized when they arrived. My prayer for them is that this growth continues and that the sparks ignited by their time here at Summit grow into a flame that burns through their lives like a wildfire. Holy Spirit, come.