Why PCA Matters: A Student’s Perspective
My name is Jonas, and I’m a junior at PCA. I started high school elsewhere…less than five miles away at a local public high school. There were a lot of things happening there: smoking and other things I didn’t agree with, but there was also a part of me that was drawn to these kinds of infractions. I got into trouble often. I tried to choose my own way in life and tried to push my own way in how to do things. My parents were there and helped, but I was the one who had to learn and understand that God is in my life, and that He needed to be front and center. The last week of school I made a huge mistake and ended up having no communication with anyone. Throughout this time, no-one asked how I was or checked in to see if I was okay. I was in the darkest stage of my life. People at the school had a negative view of me, and I had a bad reputation because of the trouble I’d gotten into. I had no way to protect myself from all the rumors flying around, so my family and I started looking elsewhere.
We started looking at PCA. During the application process, we sat down for an interview with the school and the first thing they said was: “How are you?” Literally. “We know you’ve been through a lot.” This meant so much to me. After PCA offered me admission, I had two options: I could go back to the school I was at or go to PCA. Honestly, I didn’t want to come to PCA; I wanted to stay in public school. What swayed my decision to attend was that some of my family friends told me how great PCA was. I came to PCA with little knowledge of what to expect, and the experience blew my mind. The second I showed up at PCA, I was part of the community.
Here at PCA, we don’t have just one “friend group,” and there are no “sporty kids” or “drama kids” or “nerdy kids.” We are a group of Christ-following young adults. When asked why PCA matters to me, people think: “Because it’s a place to learn and grow.” And they’re right! But it means so much more than that to me. It’s a safe, fun, exciting environment. It’s also a challenging and thought-provoking school. Here at PCA, I feel safe. I don’t feel like I have to prove myself to anyone. Here I feel like I can make friends. The teachers at PCA want to see you grow into Christ-centered adults.
I’ll be frank: I’ve gotten in trouble at PCA, too. When I first came here, it didn’t automatically change me. It took work inside of me, but PCA helped me realize who I really was. I’m still a broken person, and no school is perfect, but at PCA, they want to help you. They want to know you. When troubles come—and as the Bible says: we will have troubles in this world—PCA teachers want to sit down with you and understand why you did what you did and how to help you in the future. I’m not just another guy who messed up. I’m more than the mistakes I’ve made and the anxiety I have. I changed sports from swimming to running when I came to PCA. My coach, Mike Shevenell—or Coach Shev, as we all call him—has shown me that sports are not just for winning. He showed me that sports are a way we can share the Gospel and Jesus with others in how we act.
I have figured out, now that I’ve moved here, that I’m a child of God. I am loved by a man who died for us to live. I am more than a sinner; I am unique and am built in the image of God. PCA was a second chance for me. It’s given me so much and has helped me in many ways.
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