In the spring of 2017, “Sharon” was anxious — anxious because she was headed on a 5 1/2-hour trip without her parents to Music Festival at Mount Pisgah Academy (MPA) in Asheville, North Carolina. She was with her teacher and classmates, but coming from a very small school and only being in seventh grade made her very nervous. “Will I even be able to sing? Will I feel lost with so many people around that I don’t know?” she wondered.
Arriving on campus, she felt awkward at first. The place was big and there were a lot of people she didn’t know, but everyone was so nice. “They came up to me and wanted to be my friend,” Sharon remembered.
After registration and worship, they started practicing for their concert. “The first day of practice was a disaster — none of us knew what we were doing — but, by the concert, was amazing. We all stood up together and sang music for the Lord. It made such an impact on me! On the ride home, all I could think about was how much I wanted to go to Pisgah. I started praying that one day that would be my school.”
Arriving home, she spoke with her mother and learned that the cost to attend MPA was too expensive for their family. Though it seemed impossible, Sharon isn’t easily discouraged. She decided to see if there was anything she could do.
Instead of presents for her birthday and Christmas, she asked for money to save for MPA. She began asking for odd jobs to raise money. She worked hard at school to get good grades to increase the possibility of earning scholarships. Sharon said, “I was determined to do whatever I could do, so I worked hard and prayed.”
At her eighth-grade graduation, Louis Parra, a teacher at MPA, was their commencement speaker. He was also there to distribute scholarships. “I was so surprised and excited when I got a $4,000 scholarship,” Sharon said. “I cried and cried…a lot!”
That summer, Sharon offered to take care of her 10-month-old twin siblings full time so that the family could pay her instead of the child caregiver. She saved every penny. “It wasn’t easy,” she remembered, “taking care of twins is hard work, and all day long, every day was exhausting, but I had to do my part!”
When all was said and done, Sharon had saved enough money for her registration fees and the first month’s tuition. In addition, the academic scholarship she earned reduced the monthly tuition. Sharon never let doubt keep her from succeeding. She never gave up, and as a result, she is now a student at Mount Pisgah Academy.
Stella Bradley, English teacher at MPA said, “Sharon is a bright ray of sunshine on our campus. She is kind, studious, witty, and friendly. So glad she is here!”
Sharon said, “This is a new adventure that I know God wanted me to experience.”
So many times we see obstacles instead of opportunities. Sharon saw an opportunity, and then partnered with God to make it happen.
Carolina | May 2019