My Calvary story began in the spring of my 7th grade year when I shadowed Justin Roberts for a day. On that day I not only decided that this was the place I wanted to go but also got a preview of what Calvary was truly about and started relationships that would not just last though my time at Calvary but for the rest of my life.
Coming into my first year at Calvary in 8th grade was my first traditional schooling since first grade, as I was homeschooled from 2nd through 7th grade. Thankfully, I had already interacted with some classmates through summer assignments and summer football workouts, so the fear of not knowing anyone was not nearly as bad as it could have been. My brother, Robert, also played a huge part as he had a similar experience by entering Calvary his freshman year, and he was a junior at the time I began attending. He gave me constant encouragement and really looked out for me, even if I couldn't see it at the time. However, even with all this support, I still was feeling a lot of fear and anxiety those first weeks and what helped more than anything else was how my teachers, coaches, and classmates really made it a point to include me in things and just acknowledge that I was there.
One thing that really helped make my time at Calvary feel special and allowed me to create some great relationships was the different things I was involved in. Right from the start, I wanted to be involved, and I was selected as Middle School Chaplain, which taught me invaluable lessons. I have used these lessons during my time in Student Government and Student Life in High School and especially during my senior year as Student Body President. But Calvary has not only allowed me to make a difference in my peers’ lives, but also to people less fortunate than ourselves. Through multiple service projects in my time in the National Honor Society and yearly schoolwide projects such as Operation Christmas Child and P.A.C.K., I have become more appreciative of all the things God has blessed me with and a sense of how we can serve the least of these.
A huge part of Calvary is about our notion that we are family, and looking back at my time, there is nothing that could be more true about this place, which is my second home. Every single faculty member here wants what is best for you and that does not just mean in the subject they teach, the sport they coach, or in whatever aspect they directly affect you in. They want you to be the best family member, young adult, and more importantly, Christian that you can be. The fact that they not only say these things, but also back it up with their actions has had a profound impact on me. This trust that I have in them has gotten me through some very rough times in life. I could just sit down with a teacher and talk about what was going on and really just lean on them for support.
This support I have received from them not only has made me a better person, but also made me want to help others in a similar way. This is why I am pursuing a degree in History at Liberty University with intentions to be a teacher myself. So, thank you, Calvary for providing me with some of the best moments of my life, and more importantly, an example of how to constantly chase after God’s will.
J C Upton
Class of 2020