This spring, Higher Ground was able to celebrate some talented, faithful, compassionate young adults as they graduated from high school. We are so proud of these students and would ask you to join us in recognizing who they have become as children of God, and also in praying for them as they begin new chapters in their lives. Each July I take time to highlight these students for you, so you can celebrate their achievements as well. This year, I asked their parents to take time to consider who God created their child to be. What makes this student unique? What special contribution has God called your child to add to His kingdom? What three words best describe your child? Here are our 2016 high school graduates!
COLIN COMPTON: Inquisitive, Discerning, Quick-Witted
Colin, son of Dave and Gloria Compton, has always had his faith as an important and central part of his life. He was involved in Higher Ground and served the Church through the Higher Ground leadership team, mission trips, working at Vacation Bible Schools, mowing the lawn, and running screens. Colin was created with a passion for outdoor activities – football, soccer, camping, hiking, and backpacking. He was also involved in Boy Scouts for many years. Also passionate about 20th century history, he enjoys interviewing veterans about their experiences. Colin has been gifted in the area of photography and hopes to use that skill in future endeavors. Colin is exploring options for the future, and considering how God may be calling him towards mission work or travel photography.
JULIA DAWSON: Charming, Musical, Artistic
Julia, daughter of Mark and Joan Dawson, has become a confident and motivated leader and musician. Passionate about music, Julia played in the Higher Ground band, leading worship on Sunday evenings, at retreats, and on mission trips. Gifted with leadership ability, she has served on the Higher Ground leadership team, led middle school mission trips, was inducted into the National Honor Society at West High, and achieved teacher of the week status at Swim West within just a few weeks as a new swim instructor. Julia has also been committed to sharing her faith with her friends. Because of her friendship and invitations, 3 of her friends were baptized at the Church. Julia will attend UW LaCrosse in the fall.
ALLISON MEYER: Determined, Thoughtful, Loyal
Alli, daughter of Jeff and Amy Meyer, has a heart to show Jesus’ love to others. She is quick to serve others with a joyful attitude, and has gone on mission trips with Higher Ground and also to Ethiopia. Because of her invitation and friendship, her friend was baptized at the Church and become a regular part of our community. Alli, “the baby whisperer”, is gifted with a unique ability to love and care for children and animals and combined those passions by serving as a camp counselor at Heartland Farm Sanctuary. Alli was also able to utilize and grow in her leadership ability by participating in Change! – a 9 week Biblical leadership course. Alli’s future plans include working with animals and pursuing careers in early childhood.
ANNA STRANGE: Joyful, Servant-Leader, Kind
Anna, daughter of Bill and Peg Strange, loves learning and sports. She always found challenging school work fun and exciting and is a life-long learner. She participated in ballet, soccer, and volleyball, building friendships and enjoying her God-given talents. Anna also participated in homeschool art and choir groups and plays the piano. She used her leadership ability as a choreographer for elementary students and to also teach piano. Anna has a strong faith and an ability to genuinely love others. One of her high school highlights were the mission trips because of the people she met, the growth in her relationship with God, and the opportunities to serve. Next year, Anna will work and continue to earn college credits through College Plus. She will attend Messiah College in Pennsylvania in 2017.
MADDY STRANGE: Creative, Insightful, Empathetic
Maddy, daughter of Bill and Peg Strange, has a passion for all things related to creative expression – dance, choir, and art. Maddy danced ballet and participated in choir group for many years, and enjoys painting, pottery, and drawing. She also discovered how much she enjoyed children as she babysat, played with neighbor kids, and connected with children on mission trips. Maddy utilized those passions, as well as her leadership ability, by teaching dance routines to middle school students, assisting in art classes for a homeschool group, and helping with many Higher Ground projects and visual arts needs. Maddy is also passionate about her relationship with Jesus, evident in her eager participation in Higher Ground and on mission trips. Maddy will attend Wisconsin Luther College in Milwaukee in the fall.
As I reflect on this year’s graduating class, three words come to mind – Transformed, Faithful, and Motivated. They have been transformed in their faith and their confidence. They have been faithful to each other, their calling to share Jesus with others, and faithful in their walk with Jesus. And they have been motivated to use their unique gifts and passions to serve others and glorify God. It has been an exciting journey watching these young people grow in their relationships with Jesus and explore the unique ways that God has created them. We don’t have to wait to see how God will use them in the future – we can tangibly see how God has used them to already impact our Church community, their neighborhoods, and our world. It has been a true honor and privilege to walk alongside and learn from these young people. Well done, good and faithful servants!