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Written by Zara Odafe, Class of 2020

Photography by Adrian Van Stee, Class of 2019

With the strength of the Lord and a lot of self pep talks, I flipped to the first page of my Timothy story. I ventured into the community not fully aware of what to expect. Being the new kid was hard, let alone being the new kid junior year.

This was a major transition from my previous boarding school life. I was no longer living on the school premises, and my method of making friends just simply had to change. I knew that I was in a good community when I opened my locker and discovered a welcome gift from the student council. During my first day many of the students introduced themselves to me, making me feel extremely welcomed.

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When I walked into my painting class, I met my first friend Maggie Houseman. During our time in painting together, we shared our love for art and good ole Bob Ross. Through her I developed friendships with the other girls she hung out with, huddling together by the lockers. They invited me to attend homecoming with them — where we strutted into the venue, taking control of the dance floor.

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However, it wasn’t just the students that welcomed me into this community, but the staff as well. They did more than just welcome me, they helped me adjust to a new school curriculum. Especially math, my dreaded subject. I honestly cannot keep up with the number of times Mr. Wierenga spent helping me outside of class. Every single teacher I had the wonderful opportunity to be in the classroom with, had so much passion for the subject they were teaching. So much that it brought some spice into my learning experience.

Not only do the staff provide academic support, but also wonderful life advice. Through chapel and mini devotions given by the teachers, I have grown exceedingly in my faith. I get to witness the staff openly share their faith. When I was feeling overwhelmed one class period, I went to talk to Mr. Dekoekkoek and he advised me to trust in God and to not be too hard on myself. From this advice, I knew that the concerns of the staff went far beyond our academics, but they also cared about our spiritual well-being.

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If I had transitioned into any other school, I would not have flourished as much I have at Timothy. I am grateful to God for placing me in a community that is so open and genuine. A community of cloud of witnesses that I can walk along with through my academic journey.

Adrian Van Stee is a portrait and lifestyle photographer. Adrian’s work can be seen at adrianvansteephoto.com

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