Nichelle

Nichelle.jpg

I first began serving at CCA in the Fall of 2015 as a volunteer to help assist with the development of the CCA Student Leadership House. I heard about the school's mission and I knew everyone apart of it was doing a great work but I did not realize that being connected to CCA would cause a great work to be done in me.

At the time my thinking was like this, "Okay, I am going to help out until I find a full-time job somewhere else." My background consisted of working in Higher Education and I felt as though my skills could better be used in that type of field. As I applied to jobs, I began to volunteer in other areas at the school like tutoring and helping with one of the schools women's events.

I did not realize that being connected to CCA would cause a great work to be done in me.

The more I volunteered the more I could see the mission of CCA being lived out by the students, faculty, staff, and volunteers. I often found myself saying, "What is this place? They really mean what they say! And wow, they have restored the students' dignity, humanity, and identity in Christ! Why doesn't the world know about this place?!" 

I believe someday the entire world will know about the great things being done at CCA. In the meantime, I would to share with you some behind the scenes information about the school. At the beginning of each day the students, teachers, staff, and volunteers recite the pledge of allegiance and two scripture memory verses. One scripture is the school verse, Jeremiah 6:16 and the other scripture is the theme verse for the year. 

Stop at the crossroads and look around, ask for the old Godly way and walk in it, travel its path and you will find rest for your souls
— Jeremiah 6:16

Jeremiah 6:16 states, "Stop at the crossroads and look around, ask for the old Godly way and walk in it, travel its path and you will find rest for your souls." I never realized this scripture was in the Bible until I came to Cornerstone Crossroads Academy.

I began like most of the students just reciting the words until one day, I read the words and they leaped into my heart. During that time, I was facing a crossroads in my life and I was debating about if my husband and I should continue serving in Texas or go back to the East coast.

For some reason, we did not feel God's release to go back to our previous familiar "world" so we decided to just keep serving God's people anyhow. Through serving the students, God mended my heart and deepened my level of compassion for those who are broken. My brokenness helped me to identify with the brokenness of others even more. I was empowered to continue my journey as I watched students beat the odds and show up to school every day.

Through serving the students, God mended my heart and deepened my level of compassion for those who are broken.

I was overjoyed to see 17 students graduate with a high school diploma. For some students it took one year to finish everything, for others, it took many years. The great thing about it all was that it did not matter how long it took them as long as they finished.

Another amazing thing about these students is that each of them connected with a man named Jesus and have been trying to live out this Christian lifestyle as best as they can. The students, staff, and volunteers always show me that even though life can have some very challenging moments, if we trust God and allows ourselves to receive help from the community of God, we can get through it. 

In a nutshell, I have learned throughout my experience that, "the struggle is real!" for many of our students, but it is not too much to overcome with God on one's side. I am grateful for everyone who has come to volunteer, support, serve, give, and contribute to transforming the lives of our students because as they are being transformed, so am I.