These cool kids up there are my Leap group. I am a peer mentor for a freshmen Leap group. For all you non-Trojans out there, you may be a little confused by those terms. Basically, when a new freshmen class comes into TNU in the fall, they are broken up into about eighteen different “Leap” groups, with about 15-18 students in each group. It is sort of a “leap into college class,” to help freshmen begin to make that sometimes awkward and hard transition from high school to college. Well, we are here to help! Each group is assigned a color, and my group just so happens to be the light pink group. (#lightpinkswag) We like to call ourselves the Pink Jellyfish. There is a faculty member that leads each group, acting as the “mentor.” Then upperclassmen can apply to become the “peer mentor.” In my group, Dean Matt Spraker is our mentor, and senior Jeff Byler and I are the peer mentors. We have sixteen fun freshmen guys and girls! It is a really fun class. We meet twice a week. They take lots of assessments, such as the Meyers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI), and the Strengths Quest. With their results from these assessments, they learn a lotttt about themselves, and who they are as a Christian, a student, a leader, and how to be successful in every other role they play. Trevecca’s mission statement is ”Trevecca Nazarene University is a Christian Community providing education for leadership and service.” When you come onto our campus from our main entrance on Murfreesboro Road, you see two stone pillars that say “Leadership” and “Service.”
These two little words are the basis of everything we do at this great institution. Our Leap group curriculum includes all those assessments to further develop leadership skills, mine included. I took the class last year, and it seriously has made a world of difference in my life. You learn things about yourself that you would never ever know without having taken this class/the assessments.
So now that we have the leadership aspect of the mission statement down, we have to accomplish the service part! At the beginning of the semester, the day before TNU starts classes, there is a freshmen service project that all of the Leap groups have to participate in. We are all assigned different places, and ours was at the Trevecca Towers Retirement Community, right here on our campus. We met some of the most precious old people, and got to clean their apartments and do any chores they needed us to do. I was so proud of my group that day! They went beyond the call of duty for sure that day, and were so sweet and respectful to the older folks. Another requirement of the class which is part of their grade is doing a second service project for the semester. Last night, the light Pink Jellyfish went back to the Towers, and played board games with the residents! It was A BLAST! I had never played “Farkle” before, but I played with one of my freshmen students, Katelyn, and with two sweet old ladies both named Linda! And I won! I was so excited. I will for sure be playing it more now! And it’s so cute, cause they don’t call it “Farkle,” they call it “Sparkle!” Is that precious or what?!
It was just so heartwarming to see my “Leapsters” interacting with people that are our grandparents’ age. Some of the Towers residents have families in town that visit often, but some don’t, so it is good to get to spend time with them and love on them. It makes me miss my grandparents for sure. That was just one of those times that you can’t help but smile. It was so neat to look around their dining room, and see a couple young people and a couple old people at every single table. You could just feel God’s presence in that room. Laughing and smiling and rolling dice and keeping score and playing Uno and telling jokes and just being with those sweet people that God loves just as much as He loves us. They are a part of our campus just as much as we are, and we need to take more advantage of service opportunities with them, definitely myself included. “I’m so glad I’m a part of the FAMILY of God.” And of Trevecca
There really is no place like the Holy Hill.