National Leadership Council - Class of 2014J
Welcome! We are excited to share with you more about our National Leadership Council (NLC) class. Meet our class and see our bios below.
Thank you for your interest!
2014J Class Leaders
2014J Class Members
2014J Class Leaders
Jordan Van Niel
Jordan is eternally grateful to be serving as an NLC class leader!
Two of her loves are leadership and Christian Science. She feels
blessed to be nurturing both in the NLC class of 2014J.
Jordan "blossomed late" as a leader, spending the majority of her time
in the Performing Arts, before God ushered her into a whole new field of
leadership. She now works as a leader at "Anthropologie" in Boulder, CO.
Her work with NLC continues to bless her in both class and her
Although Jordan did not grow up with Christian Science camp experience,
she was given the opportunity to serve at Camp Newfound in the Summer of
2009. It was there that she learned of her passion for the Christian
Science youth community and after moving to Colorado that fall, she began to
nurture the idea of serving that very community.
God answered her prayers as she was offered the position of NLC class
leader...a duty she sincerely treasures. She is eagerly looking forward
to the inevitable spiritual growth and blessings that are ahead for the
NLC Class of 2014J.
Jordan loves discovering adventure in all areas of life, but especially
enjoys fulfilling "Love's divine adventure".
She is grateful to James, her co-leader, for his humility and kindness,
the entire staff at AU HQ for their tireless support of NLC, all
previous NLC class leaders for their creative guidance, and her class,
for showing her the undeniable joy that comes from serving and loving
mankind. Above all, she is grateful to God for providing unlimited
opportunities for growth in "grace", joy, patience, and unconditional
2014J Class Members
I am Abraham, or Abe for short. I have grown up on a family ranch in Colorado all my life. I love to run, play soccer, and Nordic ski - to put it in a nutshell - I love to be outdoors. I enjoy raising turkeys and being with domestic animals.
Reading is also a favorite activity of mine; my latest titles are Thirty-Nine Steps and Greenmantle by John Buchan. I live with a family of Christian Scientists, most of my extended family lives within 45 minutes of my house. I am an active 4-H member and am currently the secretary of my club. My mom and dad home-schooled me from kindergarten to 7th grade.
My name is Alexandra. I live in California. I enjoy playing sports and music. Some of my favorite sports to play are soccer, basketball, and karate. I play soccer in a local soccer league and hope to play on my high school. In basketball, I have played in our local CYO league, for my middle school team, and in AAU basketball. I have done karate since first grade and I currently hold a green with brown stripe belt. My next goal is to get my brown belt. I also take piano lessons and play the saxophone and played in my middle school jazz band. My favorite school subject is math. I am a member of the Honors Society. In addition to having a high GPA, members of Honor Society also have to provide community service to the school.
I love listening to music and hanging out with friends and family. Some special members of my family would include my black lab, Amoke, and my fat cat, Sissy. We call her Kitty most of the time. I am an only child, except for my newly acquired step brother and 13 cousins. I now have 17 cousins in total! I love movies and Broadway shows. I recently visited Tahoe, where I went extreme inner-tubing and cross-country skiing. I love the beach and I spend a week there every summer. In all, I love my life!
Through traveling, school, hobbies, and just plain fun, I have expanded my knowledge of Christian Science and now through DiscoveryBound NLC I know that I will be able to do that more. My favorite classes are geometry and science. I play the saxophone and won a traveling trophy last year with an ensemble. Sports have always been important in my life and I love to play soccer, wrestle, and run with my school teams. Outside of school I spend my free time cycling, reading, working on origami, learning to juggle, snowboarding, and playing video games. Each of these activities has taught me different qualities that are important at any moment in my life. Persistence, observation, responsibility, attention to detail, and working towards perfection. I recently had the opportunity to travel to Colorado and spent two days on the slopes of a ski resort. Although my family has not switched to digital TV yet. I always catch up on my favorite shows, The Office and SNL through the internet.
Traveling has changed my life like nothing else. In 2007 I traveled to Costa Rica in Central America to learn about the conservation and preservation of the rainforest. I came back to share what I had learned to anybody that wanted to hear. Explaining how to save the rainforest and fundraising to buy land was my primary goal; I joined a group of others and together we have already raised 5,000 dollars. I am always trying to learn more about how man has made an impact on this earth and what I personally can do to lower my carbon footprint. Another trip that I took was to Scandinavia. Our trip was to find where our ancestors had lived and to see if we could find any other relatives that were living there.
Well there not much more to learn about me except that I consider humor and creativity to be two very important and necessary qualities. They give the ability to change your perspective of a situation for the better. I can’t wait to get to know everyone in this year’s NLC program.
Hi my name is Carolyn. I was born and still live in Florida. I live with my two older sisters Lauren and Lindsey. They are my inspiration and they are always there when I need a friendly hand. I also live with my mom and my dad and my cat that we adopted last year.
My passion is playing the flute with my school band. I find it very rewarding to perform in our many local music solo and ensemble competitions. I enjoy going to school and learning.
My hobbies outside of school are playing volleyball, going to the beach, and hanging out with friends. I love listening to music and playing sports with my sisters. Another thing I love to do is travel. Most people stay home during the summer but not my family. We drive all over the U.S and love going camping. I am in many activities outside of school such as Girl Scouts and FCCLA (Family Career and Community Leaders of America).
I go to church almost every weekend and when my family and I are out of town we go to the closest Christian Science church we can find. My Sunday School teachers and my counselors at camp have been excellent and inspiring and have taught me a great deal about God and how to use Christian Science.
My name is Channing, but everyone—teachers, parents, friends—call me Cha Cha. I love to surf, play volleyball, take pictures, read, play piano, act, sing, and learn languages. During the winter, I enjoy snowboarding and at camp, I love waterskiing. Drama is a big part of my life. Three years ago I started going to a Christian Science camp. I always learn so much at camp; whether it is about friendships, life, Christian Science, sports or commitment. Even though I have used Christian Science all my life and have had many healings, the camp experience is where I really began to understand Christian Science more deeply. I saw fellow campers using Christian Science in every aspect of their lives, and learned to incorporate it everywhere I go.
At school, I am involved with many things such as soccer, basketball, volleyball, the math club and the touring xylophone band! My favorite subjects are English and Spanish. Last year,
our class was asked to complete a yearlong project with a mentor. The mentor I chose was the director of a local surf magazine. I worked with him to learn all about journalism and how a magazine works. My goal was to get an article published in the magazine, so I interviewed and photographed a professional surfer, Chris Brown. Now, even though I have completed the school project, I am continuing to work with the magazine as an intern, producing a regular column, “Girl on the Beach”.
Lastly, I am outgoing, welcoming, funny, kind and quick to laugh. I love any adventure or challenge, whether it is trying new things or climbing a rock out at the Channel Islands. My many activities have taught me to grow, be adventurous and never look back (or down!).
My name is Connor. I live in California. I have been a Christian Scientist my whole life. I am the youngest of 5 children and both of my parents are class taught Christian Scientists as well. I love to read about history and politics and was able to go to George Bush’s 2004 Inauguration. I have traveled a lot with my parents and really like to go to new places. Some of my favorite memories are the road trips across country going back to Illinois to visit my older brother when he was a student at Principia. I’m planning to go to Principia College too and am even exploring the idea of going for upper school.
I have been going to Cedar’s Camps since I was 9 years old and love it. I plan to be a counselor as soon as I’m old enough. I also was a member of a high adventure Boy Scout Troop for 2 years. While a scout I hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim, rock climbed and participated in Eagle Projects. I have played saxophone in the school band since 5th grade and will continue in high school in the marching band. I am also going to join the speech and debate club.
I have some very good friends and a wonderful extended family nearby. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins all get together for Sunday night dinners and I love having a close family.My parents tell me I’m self-confident and I am. I know that God is always with me so I feel comfortable in new situations and new places, even if my parents are not there. Being a part of the NLC will let me meet new people and get involved in a Christian Science group of kids doing good things.
I live on an island in Canada at a CS camp. I went to Taekwondo for about 5 years and earned my black belt. I go to church off island and commute there every Sunday with my family. I play ultimate Frisbee on a team with my school and go to the tournament in Washington State every year. I really like mountain biking, sailing, hiking, swimming, and skiing.
My name is Courtney. The most important things to me are my family, church, learning, friends, and my horse. My family and I love to travel and experience different cultures and I don’t know what I would do without them. I love Christian Science and it is my number one choice to heal a claim or solve a problem. At my local branch church, I serve on five committees including the Reading Room, House and Grounds, Music, Usher, and Teller Committees. Every week, my mom and I help out in our Reading Room and we decorate the windows of the Reading Room monthly with inspiring ideas for passers-by to see.
I’ve home schooled since first grade and it fits well with my learning style. Math, history, and language arts are among my favorite subjects. Horseback-riding is a huge part of my life. Most of the time, I ride Western but I also enjoy riding English. In Western, I am training and riding in gymkhana events and in English, I am training my horse to jump. Piano has been an interest of mine for seven years. Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart are favorite composers. I love the idea of learning how to be a good servant leader among a group of healers and think NLC offers an excellent way to do that.
My Name is Elle. I live in New York. The area around my house is a rural community and used mainly for farming. Some of the things I enjoy doing in my spare time are extra curricular activities such as playing sports, including basketball, field hockey, track, and swimming, reading books, traveling, singing, and playing the piano.
I live with my parents, Glenn and Felicity, and my younger sister, Lowry. Lowry is six years old, so there’s quite an age difference between her and me. My parents are both in the vast art and architectural business. One very important lesson my parents have taught me is that the only person I can be is myself, and I shouldn’t waste my time being someone I’m not.
When I grow up, I would like to go to a good college and be an interior designer. I think I would be good at this because of my love of color, design, and creativity. Some words I would use to describe me are unique, talented, friendly, successful, outgoing, spiritual, humble and kind. I am very proud to be myself and to have accomplished so much in my life already.
My name is Grace, and I live in California with my mom, dad, little brother named Sean, and my dog, Smokey. I like to play soccer, softball, flute, and piano. I like being outdoors and trying new things. I also like to travel to many places. Examples of me trying new things would be going rock-climbing for the first time in Joshua Tree National Park and doing a scuba diving class where we were able to go scuba diving in a ten-foot deep pool. It was an amazing feeling to be underwater and still be breathing normally. An example of traveling was the summer when I had the opportunity to go to Rome with my aunt who lives in England. I flew on the plane by myself, and then got picked up by my aunt. We then flew to Rome, and had a great time. We visited many places including the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the Coliseum. Flying on a plane by myself was a challenge at first, but I overcame it by knowing that God is always with me, even if I am 30,000 feet up in the air.
In addition to liking these things myself, I also like sharing them with other people. When I volunteered with the Wilderness Youth Project, I enjoyed teaching young children how to climb rocks, trees, and also how to rock hop up creeks. It was really fun to see and watch them learn and do new things!
I was born in Bermuda which is famous for its beautiful pink sand beaches. My family, including my parents, my younger sister and I, moved to Connecticut in 1998 when I was two. I have lived in Connecticut ever since. As a young child, I participated in Boy Scouts, helping with fundraisers and service projects (e.g. cleaning local river banks, helping with a food drive and cleaning bike trails). In addition to joining Scouts, I have regularly attended the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Hartford. Both my parents being Christian Scientists, I have grown up in that church my entire life. I have used Christian Science in daily life through prayer and have had many healings.
At an early age, I became enthralled in musicals and performing arts with my discovery of the musical Pirates of Penzance. My family and I love the outdoors and go on hikes often. I have camped and stayed in over 20 national parks and monuments with my family. In fifth grade, I took up the trumpet because my dad played it and I always strived to be like him. I joined band in my school and practice an hour and a half each week. I played a solo, Taps, for my school assembly one year on Veterans Day. In addition to band, I joined chorus and in 7th grade became a leading singer in my choir. Seventh grade was a big year and in addition to band I was selected to play first trumpet in the jazz band and the wind ensemble. In both of these roles, I lead the trumpet section offering help to those who are in need and helping the whole section through the hardest pieces. In chorus in 8th grade I was selected to join the select choir. In addition to my musical interests, I am a swimmer. I joined the swim team and proved to be the fastest swimmer on my team, swimming the 50 freestyle in 29.9 seconds. Also, I continue to play basketball and baseball, as well as run cross country.
My name is Katherine. I lived in Indiana for the first 12 years of my life. I have lived in Düsseldorf, Germany for the past 2 years. My favorite thing about living here is being able to travel to very different places. I have seen and experienced many different cultures. By far the best part about living here is the friends I am making from all over the world.
I like a lot of different sports but my favorite is swimming. I also play volleyball, run, and have just started rowing. I also like to bake and of course spend time with my friends. I have gone to A/U camp in Colorado for 5 years and even after all the traveling it is my favorite place in the whole world.
My name is Niklas. I’ve always wanted to be an architect and enjoy drawing cartoons and 3-D figures. I was born in Houston, Texas and I’m 50% German, so I sometimes speak German at home. My family and I live in Massachusetts. My mom, Ingrid, is the managing editor of the Christian Science Sentinel and spirituality.com for The Mother Church. My dad, Laurenz, was born and raised in Germany and his family still lives there. My Oma (grandma) lives near Hamburg and my aunt and cousins live in Berlin. My dad works as a contractor for Fidelity Investments in New Hampshire. I have a younger brother and sister: Liam is in third grade and Nadja is in fifth. We have two family pets: a yellow Labrador named Dash, and a tabby cat, Jessee.
In middle school I received an Honor Roll certificate for getting mostly A’s. I’m going to play lacrosse in the spring, and am hoping to join crew rowing. I am the lead trumpet for my school jazz band. I also attend my local branch church and occasionally go to The Mother Church. I love Camp Owatonna and have been going there for three years now. I also enjoy participating in my local Discovery Bound events.
Hi, my name is Stephanie and I live in Oregon. I’m attending school in the eighth grade. I have an older sister, Emily, who is in the 2011 NLC class. She’s a huge influence on my life as well as my best friend. In addition to my mom and my dad, our family includes six pets. We have one dog, four cats, and one rabbit because we love animals.
When people first meet me they may think I’m shy and quiet. However, around people I’m familiar with, I laugh and joke around a lot. If you asked my friends what three adjectives they think describe me best, they would say: funny, caring, and weird (in a good way).
In my free time I enjoy hanging out with friends, shopping, swimming, walking, and making jewelry. I also enjoy fashion and photography. For the first time last fall, I participated on my school’s volleyball team and had a lot of fun. In high school I would love to go out for volleyball. I also enjoy tennis and softball and I also love being around family. One of the highlights in my year is always my extended family’s annual trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I love going on vacations and am always up for traveling. I love meeting new people and I hope to enter the program and meet other Christian Scientists like me!
My name is Tia May and I have a loving family with my mom, dad, and younger sister. I love the outdoors and I'm not afraid of hard work. I am a member of my church and Student Council. I fully enjoy sports, school, music, and art. Through these I do my best to be a team player and give 100% all the time.
Christian Science is a central part of my life and I use it in my views of myself, others, my attitude, my potential, and my ability with God's infinite Mind and energy. I can be quiet, but I like having fun with people. Curling up with a good book can occupy me for hours at a time, but I want to live adventures as well as thrill in them.
I was born on February 9 in Connecticut into a loving family. I have a sister named Abigail, my mom, dad, and two very cute dogs. I grew up close to both my inner family and my extended family growing up. When I was seven years old, I asked my parents if I could go to camp during the summer. Reluctantly, they sent me to a three week session at Owatonna, a Christian Science camp in Harrison, Maine. I loved it there, and two years later I started to be at camp for the whole summer. Camp has been a very high point in my life. I loved and still love to water-ski, kayak, play sports, and many other fun activities at camp. During middle school, I started to run and row as my major sports.
Many things have been important to me in my life. By far the most important thing to me is my family. They have supported me through many hard moments in my life and I am amazingly close to them. Another important thing to me is Christian Science. It has led to many healings, including when I was in a very difficult bullying situation and when I couldn’t move the left side of my face at all. I also love Camp Owatonna, a Christian Science camp in Maine. Camp is one of my favorite places to be, and I have made countless friends there and had experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life. Some sports that have been the most important to me are running, rowing and skiing. In school, I love anything that has to do with history.