I’ve always felt called from God to go out and serve others outside of my own community. Growing up, I was taught that helping others and spreading the gospel by being God’s hands and feet is my mission. Matthew 5:42 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

When I served at homeless shelters or was part of missions’ trips in other parts of the world, I have been reminded of this verse. As a result of these many opportunities, I knew that I wanted to continue to help spread the gospel of God’s love to others, by helping them and living a life of discipleship.

When Mr. Cumiskey first asked me if I would consider applying for the Jr. Residency program, I was intrigued. I instantly felt that this might be my opportunity to help those outside of my own community and positively represent my school.

Finding My Passion

After prayer and the advice of close friends and my parents, it was clear that partnering with EduDeo aligned with my vision for the Jr. Residency. EduDeo is a non-profit organization that offers education to less privileged children in partner countries across the world. They integrate the gospel into all their teachings.

EduDeo envisioned an event for grade 11 and 12 students at their headquarters in Hamilton, Ontario. Through the Jr. Residency, we created a youth summit where students will work alongside each other and collaborate on their own individual volunteer ideas for their communities. The students will bring already established volunteer ideas, or ideas in progress that they could help their own communities with. At the youth summit, these ideas will be fine tuned and perfected, so these students can head back to their communities with an action plan moving forward.

No Easy Task

I partnered with EduDeo staff to plan, brainstorm, and execute the youth summit. This was no easy task! I was creating budgets, planning flights, creating social media marketing videos, creating application forms, choosing students for the youth summit, and planning what would happen during the event. Very quickly, I had to learn problem solving, leadership skills, time management, and other valuable life skills.

From the beginning of the Jr. Residency, I worked closely with a staff member from the EduDeo team in Hamilton, Ontario. That meant navigating different time zones when planning meetings. That was challenging! I learned to plan these video calls around my school day and homework time. Once I had to make sure I completed a test in class so I could make an online meeting.

After two years in the Jr Residency program, it is clear that God had his hand in every aspect of this journey. This was another opportunity to work with others outside of my community and be the hands and feet of God. I’m looking forward to going to Hamilton to be part of the youth summit this fall, and to see the planning and hard work come into action. Hopefully the youth summit will be regular event, allowing other students to be the hands and feet of Christ in their communities.