Middle and high school students are enjoying having student mentor coaches available to talk to. Grace Fryml and Brandon Vazquez, both in BJA’s Class of 2015, are the new student mentor coaches. They, along with faculty, are available for biblical mentoring.
Triangle staff members Charlotte Moore and Job Korver recently interviewed Grace and Brandon about their experience as BJA students and how this has impacted them today.
How have your experiences in Academy leadership prepared you for leadership in the secular workplace?
- Brandon: Any leadership position will push and challenge you in ways you wouldn’t expect. This is due to the brand new challenges you have to face while leading. When those challenges come up and you’re faced with your own shortcomings, don’t allow yourself to be too discouraged that you don’t learn from them and see how you can improve to avoid past mistakes.
- Grace: I had the privilege of being a student body officer for one year, a class officer for two years, and the co-captain of my varsity basketball team during my senior year. These opportunities absolutely changed my life as a high school student. I learned how to work with people totally different from me, how to be a humble servant leader, how to manage my time, (because, wow, life gets busy as an Acad!), and how to deal with success and failure. As a leader, you always take responsibility for the failures, and you redirect the praise for successes. This directly relates to our walk with God as we live with an “Eternity matters more” mindset.
What verse/book of the Bible has greatly impacted you?
- Brandon: The book of 1 Peter was very eye-opening for me when I was figuring out what it means to live a life that is actually pleasing to God. It helped me understand a Christian’s role in this world and started preparing me for the trials that come along with that.
- Grace: Some of you may have noticed, but I have a necklace that I had made that says “Abide.” John 15:4-5 records Jesus commanding us to abide in Him. Why is that so important? Previously He invites us to come to Him (all who are weary and heavy laden, and He will give you rest), but not only does He want us to come, He wants us to stay; to rest; to be still before Him; and to be held by Him. Isn’t that incredible?
What is one piece of advice you would give your high-school self?
- Brandon: One, change your haircut cause you look like a dork. Two, get out of your comfort zone and make meaningful relationships with people outside of your friend group.
- Grace: I would tell myself to ask those hard questions about life and God way sooner than I did and to ultimately get much more help from the adults in my life.
Who was the greatest influence in your high school years?
- Brandon: Each year a different teacher would seriously impact me in different ways. From Freshman year, I became close with my Geography teacher Mr. Murphy; he was someone I could always ask advice from. Sophomore year, I grew closer to Dr. E and began to use him as a resource throughout the rest of my time in high school. Junior year, I became close with Mr. Autry, Miss Corey, and Mrs. Nic. All three were so important for my development that year, and Mrs. Nic became one of my constant sources for advice for Senior year as well. I was extremely blessed to have known these teachers and be cared for by all of them and the rest of my teachers that I didn’t list.
- Grace: This is an impossible question for me. I was influenced by SO many of the faculty. Every one of my sponsors, coaches, teachers and administrators had a specific role in impacting my life and my journey in discovering who God made me to be.
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