By: Hannah Jarvis, TX (attended TN 2018 & TN 2019)
The people and environment at Summit were an amazing experience for me. It was a place where I could openly bear my soul, pain and heartache and people would listen to me.
I met some of the most genuine people in my small group and on the trip to the river my first year. The students and staff at Summit were so caring and lovable which made me feel the safety that I have lacked for so long.
For once in my life, I felt at home. I can definitely say that Summit is a life-changing event that took place when I needed it the most.
During my first session in the summer of 2018, I got to know some of the people I would eventually call my best friends. They laughed with me, cried with me, and loved me unconditionally. My second year attending Summit was another blessing I will remember forever. Going back to the place I called home the year before was terrifying because I held my first year at Summit at such a high level of respect and I cherished the time I spent there. I was scared that the second time attending Summit would not be what I expected it to be, but I was wrong.
After the anxiety and worry I felt when first arriving at Summit in 2019, I was introduced to so many amazing staff and the same loving community I missed for so long. Immediately, I felt like I was back in the place where I belonged. I was able to share my story openly with those around me and listen to the stories of others.
This year, I was blessed with four amazing girls in my small group and they became like family in the two weeks we were there. I could not have asked for better small group leaders than the two God gifted me during the times at Summit. Both of my group leaders, Bethany and Maggie, helped me grow spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. They pushed me to conquer my fears and openly share who I am with those around me. I can never thank the staff at Summit and those who loved me like I was one of their own enough. I was offered support and wholehearted honesty.
I would never change the community aspect of Summit because that is what makes it so unique. Without those who sought to reach out to me, I would still be the shy, closed-off girl that was set on dealing with pain alone. I learned that the things in my past are not things I should be ashamed of, but they are a part of the greater story of God’s plan. Thank you to Summit for the opportunities given to me and thank you God for allowing me to attend the place that felt like home.