Senior Josh Kalapala was the speaker at Taste of Timothy. The following is his speech.
My name is Josh Kalapala. I'm a senior at Timothy Christian Schools and I’m honored to tell you how much of a blessing Timothy Christian has been for me.
Four years ago, my family was looking at three high schools to choose from: Walther Christian Academy, York High School, and Timothy Christian. At the time, I had a bit of preference for York High School because I knew more of my friends were going there. I figured I might know more people there. However, my family felt a deep calling for a Christian education, and we ended up choosing Timothy Christian.
I can tell you for a fact: It was one of the best decisions we have ever made. Timothy has three attributes that have truly impacted me personally: the community, the emphasis on academic commitment, and most importantly the priority of building strong Christian disciples.
My first experience with the TC community was during OctoberFest my freshman year. As I looked out into the audience, I realized that it wasn’t just a bunch of parents and kids, but rather, this was the TC family. It was amazing to see parents watching their kids perform some of the same silly songs that they performed when they had gone to Timothy. The small children of the audience would look up to big kids, jumping around on stage. But give it five to six years, those children would be up on stage doing the same for the next generation. I loved that the TC family flowed from generation to generation. Everyone seemed to know each other and care for one another.
My parents were also integrated into the family at events such as these, and that was comforting, considering we didn’t know too much about this school prior to me arriving here. But community wasn’t just limited to school events. Over the course of my time at TC, I was able to feel the community of the school each and every day. I was able to make personal relationships with most of the TC members at school: the maintenance staff, faculty, teachers I didn’t even have for class, and even the middle school teachers.
Many of these people sought out a personal relationship with me. It began with “Hi, what is your name?” and led to “I hope your mock trial tournament goes well!” It was really comforting to know that, even though I didn’t come here in preschool, I felt as though I had. I knew that this was a place where I was respected and cared for. I was very happy to be a part of the TC family.
Additionally, Timothy Christian has academics as one of their top priorities. Each and every one of the teachers is motivated and passionate about helping each and every student succeed to the best of his or her ability. I have personal relationships with all of my teachers, in that, they know my strengths and weakness for each corresponding subject. They have helped me with areas where I struggled and taught me to seek challenges and work as best as I can.
The teachers give so much of their time to guide every student that seeks help. My science teachers have given ample time after school hours to help me work on labs and projects. My English teachers have taken time to walk me through what I did wrong on a paper, test, or quiz. My math teachers give up their free study hall to answer my questions and even review the material with me, to make sure I understand what will be tested in the upcoming assessment.
This school has pushed me to expand both my logical and critical thinking. I greatly look forward to using the skills that I have sharpened here at TC in college.
Finally, and most importantly, Timothy Christian Schools prioritizes building strong Christian disciples. Now, many other Christian schools have chapel and prayer time, but ask yourselves: How many other schools have their superintendent teach Bible study before school? How many other schools have their athletic directors offering prayer requests for the busy students before school? What I mean to say is that Timothy is unique in its Christian community.
As Proverbs 27:17 says: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” I believe Timothy uses its strong community to not only strengthen relationships amongst each other but also, most importantly, with Christ. It is through chapels and small groups that students are filled with the Word of God, which helps strengthen our faith. Timothy helps use the faith strengthened from these chapels and helps us apply it through programs like Renew, where students can serve in Honduras, Ireland, and even our local Chicago neighborhoods.
Overall, I do not think I would be the same person had I not gone to Timothy. I have been trained to seek challenge and push my logical thinking. I have made more friends than I ever thought I would. And I have grown so much in my relationship with Christ.
Next year, I may become a Rambler at Loyola University, but I will always have a bit of Trojan blood in me. Red and White.
If you'd like to get to know Josh better, you can read his story portrait featured on Timothy's Instagram feed by visiting Instagram.com/tcschools