For me, Hebron Christian Academy has been “a home away from home” for the past six years. This school means the world to me. It has been a place where I have made incredible friendships, discovered my passions, and realized how important my faith is to me. When I first came to Hebron, I was in sixth grade, and extremely nervous about the transition from elementary to middle school. It was definitely a challenge, entering into a brand-new environment with people I didn’t know, but I have never been so thankful for such a change. In those first few weeks of school, I had absolutely no idea how much of a community Hebron really is, but I was welcomed into one. The friendships I have made since sixth grade are ones that I will truly cherish, even beyond graduation.
The community feel of HCA goes way farther than solely between the students and families. The teachers and faculty have created that feel as well. Along with developing relationships with students, the relationships I have made with teachers are ones that will also last. As I have transitioned from grade to grade, almost every teacher has showed genuine care and concern for me in their class. Everyday as I would enter their classroom, I knew each teacher cared for me and wanted to know my learning styles and interests. Throughout every school year, I have had teachers inspire and help me to be the best version of myself I can be. Mrs. Olimpi, the 10th grade World Literature teacher, is one of the best examples. I have known Mrs. Olimpi since my very first days at Hebron, as she and her husband have directed me in several drama productions. My sixth through ninth grade school years I anticipated being in her class, and could not wait to continue my path in the drama department. Inside and outside of the classroom, Mrs. Olimpi’s passion for literature trickled down into the students she teaches. Reading and writing is not my favorite activity to do, but when she lead discussions and grammar lessons, I found myself truly enjoying it. Over the past years, Mrs. Olimpi also directed me individually and in group settings, and she is equally as passionate about theatre as she is literature. Apart from being an incredibly talented educator and director, Mrs. Olimpi is one of the most kind and Christ-like women I have ever met. In her classroom, we have read novels such as The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, which allowed for her to connect and guide her students in their faith. From a theatre standpoint, Mrs. Olimpi and her husband have always made it their biggest point to keep us humble and knowing that our talents are from God alone. They have also instilled in us that winning a competition or getting a certain role, should never take importance over our character. Mrs. Olimpi is one of the biggest inspirations in my life, and I am forever thankful that God has allowed me to be challenged and taught by her.
As I enter into my last days at HCA, I am flooded with memories, lessons, and experiences it has given me over the past six years. HCA has taught me that it is possible for me to have a home outside of my family. It has allowed me to develop a faith in a God who will always love and care for me. I am so excited for my faith that I have developed within the walls of this school, to transpire into whatever ministry I am called to in college. My time here has let me build relationships that I will never forget, and hopefully will carry over with me through the rest of my life. Lastly, HCA has helped me to grow and develop my character more than I would have been able to anywhere else. I am forever thankful that I have spent my time at HCA. Leaving is going to be extremely difficult, but I know that it has prepared me for the next phase of my life.