I had a brief conversation with a Xenia Christian student recently who came to my office with a delivery. He was a tall, handsome young man with a great smile and respectful attitude. I asked him how he liked the school to which he responded, “I love this school. I have been here since Kindergarten. I am a junior in high school this year but last year I had to go to the public school because we couldn’t afford it…but we got the money together this year, so I am back.”
After he left my office, I thought to myself, how sad it was that he wanted to be here and yet finances made it impossible. I pulled out a past yearbook and found out that this young man was quite involved at the school – as a junior higher, he had a major role in the school drama, he ran cross country, he played basketball, and was part of the spring track team. How wrong it felt to me that he had to leave our school.
My quick encounter with this young man cemented in my thinking why I want to hike the Appalachian Trail. I want to be able to help provide tuition assistance for students like this junior in high school that really wanted to be in our school but whose family could not afford the full tuition amount. Fortunately, this student’s family managed to provide for his return. But if not, the school would have missed out on impacting this student’s life and would have forfeited the opportunity for this young man to positively influence the culture of the school. Oh, how I pray that many will support this hike and provide thousands of dollars of tuition assistance to benefit worthy families.