“Don’t stay in the same group of friends, make new ones. It is okay to be different because everyone has a different calling and reason to be where they are.”
Picking up where we left off with Brooke LeBlanc’s HOBY experience, Camille Cancienne and Madeline Sylvester also attended HOBY Summer 2018. Lion Nation News set down with these two young leaders for a quick chat.
Lion Nation News: What were your first few moments at HOBY like?
Sylvester: Right when we walked in we were greeted by the HOBY alumni and junior counselors. Immediately, we felt welcomed and comfortable. The thing that got us most involved was a game of bingo, getting to meet students our age from other schools. We made friends right away. My personal goal was to make friends that last and that I could stay in touch with. By the first session, I already had relationships with people I didn’t know only an hour ago.
Camille: Like she said, our first activity as HOBY ambassadors was a “getting to know each other bingo”. This included us going around a room of 200 students talking to them and finding out things such as who is an only child and getting their signature on our bingo sheet. It started as awkwardly talking to people you do not know, but by the time the first session began I was laughing and making many friends with these strangers.
Lion Nation News: What was it like to meet up with so many other young leaders in our area?
Camille: For me it was fun to see many schools that I knew or had heard of, but also seeing some that I never knew existed. It was amazing to see that all of these people are going to go on to do so many great things and they are all the same age as me.
Sylvester: It was cool to see how many people wanted to be involved. With all different personalities, views, and opinions, we all came together for one reason, to serve our community. It opened my eyes to the amount of things that our age is capable of doing. We don’t think of the impact that we have on the world!
Lion Nation News: What was the most unexpected thing that happened at HOBY?
Camille: The most unexpected was probably realizing how much the world affects people even as young as these sophomores going into being juniors. So many people had defined themselves as whatever the world told them they were and did not see anything wrong with that. I went into HOBY knowing these students are not all Christians, but I was not prepared mentally to be the minority because I believed in God.
Sylvester: One thing that shocked me the most were the viewpoints of the modern age and days. I knew when I left for HOBY I wasn’t walking into a room full of believers, but I didn’t realize how much it would affect me. Being surrounded by Christians daily, I am use to everything pointing back to Jesus. Students, speakers, and many others didn’t believe in the Bible. I was kind of in shock but knew that I was there for a reason. Building relationships with my peers allowed me to see that there is more to the world beyond the four walls that we stay in.
Lion Nation News: Final question for you girls. Can you share one thought with the Ascension Christian student community that may just change their perspective on school or life?
Camille: Start figuring out who you are and what you believe in right now because the moment you leave high school there will be a million other voices telling you who you are or who you should become. If you are already secure in yourself and in your beliefs you will be strong enough to stand up, but if you are not, other people will try to turn you into whatever is more pleasing to the world.
Sylvester: Don’t stay confined to only what you are able to see. We don’t realize how sheltered we are until we step out of our “confined area”. Don’t stay in the same group of friends, make new ones. It is okay to be different because everyone has a different calling and reason to be where they are. Make sure you are grounded in the Word and keep pursuing Jesus.
Lion Nation News: Thank you for sharing with us. I feel that this interview will speak into the hearts and minds of many students as we enter the first week of school.