Class of 2009: Meet Our Graduates!
2009 Class Leaders
2009 Class Members
2009 Class Leaders
Hi there! I’ve been working with youth in many capacities (Sunday School teacher, coach, youth group leader, youth mentor, and camp director) for over 30 years now. I recently went into teaching and for the life of me, I don’t know why I didn’t figure that one out sooner! Kids (young and old) are my passion in life. They are my inspiration and joy and they love to sing and play as I do. I’m now a teacher at a small school in Grenada (100 miles north of Venezuela in the Caribbean) and continue to enjoy my passion in life.
In 2004, I was missing my old A/U youth group from Detroit and the days when we had Teen Councils where the kids made the decisions on everything from what events we would run to how to fund activities. In those days, we had officers and one had to apply to become a Teen Council member. It was a real commitment to the group and to Christian Science. I missed it so much, that I started thinking about how it could be recreated, but on a national level which would give CS teens more of an opportunity to interact with their peers across the country. (There weren’t enough similarly-aged children in most Sunday Schools to have a local youth group)
Thus, was the idea of NLC born. The youth you see in the bios below were trail blazers. They signed up for something none of us understood entirely. We started with a core of principles which involved Christian Science, Servant Leadership and Community Service, but we didn’t know what that would look like in day to day life. These amazing teens (see below) stayed through the whole four-year program. These were truly the pioneers, hanging in there through some very trying times while we tried to run a virtual youth group mostly with teleconference calls, not to mention grappling with new concepts like the Congressional Award.
In the end, we achieved the vision of creating a youth group that would bond and be friends for the rest of their lives. As we hoped, they have become a group of teens who will grow together in their Christian Science, and form a core of leaders for the world and for our movement, a group that cares about the environment, its community and global perspectives. I know that I will stay connected to these individuals for the rest of my life.
The even bigger vision, as this program evolved, was to bring this to all Christian Science teens and that credit goes to DiscoveryBound and its leaders and managers, as well as the actual NLC class leaders. Amazing individuals in this organization have given countless hours to this program, and I am in awe of their commitment and dedication to NLC, and extremely grateful for their consistency, diligence, and love for teens. Thank you all.
Read on to find out more about the pioneers of the class of 2009 and those little, shy, eighth graders who turned out to be wonderful men and women that I am proud to know and love.
Mike "Big Mike" Ingram is the past co-leader for the 2009 NLC Class, and has been involved in mentoring youth as an adult Boy Scout leader and DiscoveryBound volunteer for many years. Mike recently retired as an Assistant Chief after nearly 28 years in law enforcement, where he mentored and trained young officers and also assisted in developing and teaching ethics for law enforcement. Mike has also taught many of the same leadership and ethics principles to the National Leadership Council.
Class of 2009 Graduates
I love the outdoors and I am always up for trying new things. This summer I was a CIT at Adventure Unlimited Ranches, which was an incredible experience. I learned so much about myself and about my relationship with God. I have so many ideas of what to do in the future, but I can only take one day at a time. In college I wish to study architecture, art history and possibly anthropology. I enjoy traveling and being emerged in foreign cultures. I think the best way to learn about something is to put yourself right in the middle of it. I wish to travel the world one day, and become fluent in a second language. This summer I will be traveling through Europe with a few friends, for about a month. I am so excited for this trip!
I have been a member of the National Leadership Council since I was in the 8th grade, and I am proud to say I am a part of the first graduating class. The NLC has given so much to me throughout these five years. It has helped make me a strong, confident leader. Not only does the NLC teach you about leadership but it also teaches you about working with a group of other people that will eventually become your family. While in the NLC I began volunteering at the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. I have enjoyed volunteering there because it enables me to give freely back to my community and I love to be a part of the children’s learning experiences. I feel a sense of fulfillment knowing that I have possibly made a difference in their lives and taught them something they will always remember. I have had the opportunity to travel around the country and to the island of Grenada due to the NLC. This is an unforgettable program that has ultimately given me the means to discover my true self as God's perfect child.
During my freshman year my family decided to move to a tiny village in southern Spain. It was the best time of my short life. I have three brothers and an adorable little kitty named Phineas. I love playing soccer, dancing, snowboarding, and drinking tea. I love to travel and can’t wait for the day when I get to say I’ve been to every country in the world. I attend a small performing arts school called Main Street School of Performing arts where I am a dance major and take classes in modern, jazz, ballet, and hip hop. I also love music; lately I’ve really been enjoying a lot of British alternative rock bands, all they ask from us is peace, love, and of course, harmony.
As a member of the 2009 National Leadership council I would have to say, I have enjoyed every moment of it. It hasn’t always been easy or really fun but when looking back at my experiences, there isn’t a moment I would trade. Before I entered the NLC, I had never realized the capabilities of teenage Christian Scientists. We were asked over the last four years to push ourselves and get over any fears that occurred. Since we are all Christian Scientists and all around the same age, we had no problem reaching out to each for support, which made our home lives and our NLC work, so much easier. It is an experience that I think everyone should be able to experience and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to participate in the wonderful National Leadership Council.
In school, my favorite subjects are math and science and I plan on majoring in engineering/architecture in college. I play tennis and bass in my free time and in the summer, I hike mountains at A/U.
Over the last 4 years in the NLC, I have grown more than I ever thought to be possible. This first thing I think of when I reflect on the last 4 years in the NLC is the friends I've made through the program. I think of the people who I will stay in touch with from my high school after I graduate and I can only count about 3. I know that I will stay in touch with everybody in the NLC after high school and throughout life.
The NLC has also made me into a great leader. Aside from the specifics of servant leadership, the NLC had helped me not follow the crowd throughout high school but to lead whatever I believe in as an individual. This is hard to do in high school because people tend to do whatever everybody else is doing in order to fit in.
I have learned what it means to be a servant leader because of the NLC as well. My favorite community service project was teaching tennis to kids who couldn't afford lessons. I enjoyed this because it was something I love to do and I learned a lot from the kids with whom I worked. I have learned that leading is not merely barking orders and delegating, but getting your hands just as dirty as your followers. I love the guest speakers we get at our NLC events because they always have insightful ways of being a leader. On a side note of that, the people that go to Discoverybound events all have a story that will teach you something. I love the NLC because it has given me opportunities to meet other young leaders like myself and to learn something about myself as well. The NLC has given me hands-on opportunities and allowed me to lead discussion sessions with ideas of my own. The last DiscoveryBound event at Principia College showed me how much I have changed and learned over the last 4 yours about being a leader. I am very grateful to the NLC program for this.
I don't yet know my destination for college, I am looking forward to
the experiences that will come in the next four years. As for the last
four years that I have had as part of the NLC, I have learned some very
valuable lessons. Between practicing servant leadership and meeting new
friends from all of the classes, I have had a very enjoyable and
rewarding experience. My favorite community service project was peer
tutoring at my school. I started my day by volunteering to help other
students who needed help with their school work and I've had the
opportunity to meet some very cool people and teach fellow students.
Some of the highlights of NLC that come to mind are the first meeting
back in May of 2005, our trip to Alaska to see the Iditarod, our work
on the book "Come and See" by Mary Baker Eddy, and our leadership work
at the recent DBLC at Prin. All these memories and lessons have helped
make this experience as part of the NLC class of 2009 and enjoyable and
I joined the NLC my sophomore year in high school. I now attend Principia College, majoring in business administration. Some of my interests include baseball, music, and motorcycles.
Over the past three years with the NLC, we've traveled from the Rocky Mountains in Colorado to the beautiful beach of the Caribbean and most everywhere in between. Although these traveling experiences were amazing, more importantly I grew as a young man, a leader, and as a Christian Scientist. After graduating early from High School, I had the time to dedicate myself to a service project for NLC. I spent a couple of months raising funds for the Meridian School (a small school in Grenada) to send students to the United States for summer camp and school. It was a rewarding and successful experience. A favorite quote of mine inspired all the work put into this and other service projects I've been a part of... "In order to find yourself, you must first loose yourself in the service of others". (Mohandas Gandhi) The values taught to me in the NLC are admirable and exemplify the children of God we all strive to be. The NLC has been, and will continue to be a large part of my life and will always hold a special place in my heart. “Be a leader in everything you do, no matter what".
Hello to all who care enough to read about my
fantastic/thrilling/exciting/mind-blowing yet beautifully written NLC
experience during my high school career. I am an artist whose work has
saved me. I am a deep thinker. I enjoy the simple pleasures in life
such as watching the birds fly. I truly listen to the wind of my soul.
I hug trees. I look myself in the mirror once a day and tell myself “I
adore you, I respect you, and I honor you.” But most importantly I am a
magnificently sculpted child of Mind and Soul. Now that I face my
graduation of high school in January I find myself thinking of what’s
next in my path of life. I have a grand idea, but hey, life is
continuously changing out of our control, and although that change is
sometimes unexpected I have learned that trusting Mind to lead the way
is reassuring that all will work out in accord with him. However, my
plans for now are in February I will be moving down to Florida and
attend Florida Atlantic University, while studying Marine Biology.
The NLC has been an amazing learning experience. I have grown in my
mental strength by now being able to get up and lead, but most
importantly not being afraid to do so. I have grown to love my
individuality. My fellow NLC friends have grown along with me. And some
have grown away from the program, yet the dedicated have stayed. During
these past four years in the program, I’ve learned about Home, about
what it truly means to be a Servant Leader, and how family isn’t blood
deep, but family are people who support you, who honor you, and those
who see you as everything you can be, therefore the NLC has become my
family. Being in this program has helped me live to my highest sense of
right. And I am forever grateful for the chance to learn and be apart
of the National Leadership Council.
I honestly don't know where I
would be as a person without the NLC. When I began the NLC as an eighth
grader I was shy, quiet and more of a follower. I knew I wanted to be
able to lead others but I had a lot of barriers to break down before I
could get to that point. Over the past four years the NLC has taught me
so much. Throughout the activities and the trips, I have learned many
new things. I have become more confident, more caring, and more
spiritual and I have become a better leader. I'm no longer afraid to
take risks, stand out and lead people no matter what the situation is.
The NLC has taught me to be grateful for what I have and to appreciate
what I can give to others in return.
Along with all of the things the NLC has taught me, I've made friendships that I know I'll
have when I'm older. I think you learn the most from the people you can
relate to and that's exactly what the NLC has done for me. All the
people in my class have helped me break down my barriers and accept who
I am. They all wanted me to be the best person I can be and helped me
get to that point. I still have some work to do and I'm sure it's a
lifelong journey, but I know that they'll be there down the road and I
am really grateful for that. The NLC became my second family and an
amazing support system that I know I am going to have for the rest of
I am actively involved in Boy Scouts, and am currently working on my Eagle project. My varsity soccer season just ended, so I am now turning my attention to track and field. I started the track team at my school, and in addition to captaining it since my freshman year, I went to the state track meet and placed in the finals for the 100m and 200m and placed 3rd in the 4x400. I've also had the opportunity to be a CIT at the Adventure Unlimited Ranches.
The National Leadership Council has been instrumental both in experiencing new ideas, places, and people over the past four years, and also in my personal spiritual growth. It has been without a doubt one of the highlights of my high school experience, and I would recommend it to anyone. The friends that I've made are now family, the places I've been feel like home, and I have learned a style of leadership that will stay with me forever. Finally, and perhaps the most important part of the National Leadership Council for me, is that I've experiences tremendous spiritual growth, the likes of which I had only heard about before. I am extremely thankful for to the NLC and the person it has helped me to become.