By: Susan Gum // December 4th, 2020 // Stories
Every fall, Delmarva Christian High School Life Calling Counselor Terri Smith meets individually with every junior and at least one of the student’s parents for what is called a Junior Meeting.
“Alongside our Biblical Life Calling course which helps students learn about their God-given strengths, passions, interests, and unique identity, I meet individually with juniors to discuss what God may be calling them to after graduation,” said Mrs. Smith. “At their age, many do not yet know what they would like to do, which is okay. I like to think that I may help relieve some stress for them, by walking alongside them and providing resources that may help guide them.”
These meetings prove to not only relieve some of the stress for the students, but they are helpful for parents as well.
This is certainly the case for DCS parent Jennifer Jones. Although she participated in this process once before with her son and 2020 DCHS graduate Joseph, she is grateful for the recent Junior Meeting she had with Mrs. Smith and her daughter Emily.
“It’s the little things that are important to us as parents,” said Mrs. Jones. “It is bad enough when you realize your child is almost done with high school but it’s especially challenging when so many decisions need to be made. For Emily, she is looking to go to college so we have some big logistical questions that we need help answering. Questions like which college should she go to and how will we pay for it. I remember the first time we met with Mrs. Smith, our meeting lasted 1½ hours, and she was with us the whole time making us feel as if we were all that mattered. It is very stressful thinking beyond high school but having Mrs. Smith there comforting and guiding all of us with her expertise and care, both times, has been such a blessing.”
As far as Mrs. Jones can remember, Emily has been interested in entering the medical field and pursuing a career as either a physician’s assistant or nurse practitioner.
“Emily considers a family friend of ours as her role model, and the one who inspired her to consider specializing in pediatrics and/or oncology,” continued Mrs. Jones. “With either of these fields, we know Emily will need a considerable amount of education, but more importantly, she needs encouragement and guidance, and that’s something Mrs. Smith did during our meeting. She confirmed the importance of following the passions and purposes of God. Kids remember these things, and this is something Emily will remember her entire life.”
During the Junior Meetings Mrs. Smith leads discussions about high school transcripts, graduation requirements, senior year courses, and individual student goals and gifts as well as disseminates information regarding college and career options, standardized testing, financial aid, and scholarships, but her primary focus is on God’s will on the lives of the students.
“I truly enjoy getting to know how each student is created with different strengths and interests. Many students may have experienced a sense of God’s calling upon their lives through our school’s J-term experiences, extracurricular activities, academic pursuits, and other opportunities of discovery,” said Mrs. Smith, “but, even if they’re not quite certain what their future looks like, I believe our students have a confidence in their Identity in Christ. By breaking down an often overwhelming time into smaller goals and timelines, plus by providing assistance as needed throughout the process, my hope is that students and families alike are reminded that we work together towards God’s perfect plan for them. It is my joy to play a small part in this journey.”