Southern California has always been home to me, so Azusa is really not too far from my hometown of Coronado, California. I grew up in a Christian home and in a church that, from the age of 9 years old, quickly became like family. I wholeheartedly enjoy being deeply involved in service and ministry, working with students and those who may find themselves in need of some extra loving. This desire led me to spend all of my middle school and high school years serving in different leadership positions at my home church. I am currently just a first semester freshman at Azusa Pacific University looking to major in Global Studies with a minor in Journalism. However, despite only being in the Azusa area for 2 months, I have already been so blessed by the opportunity to pursue my passions for the Kingdom at MYTHIRDPLACE.
I heard about MYTHIRDPLACE through City Links, a one-day service experience within the Azusa community for all incoming freshmen at APU. We showed up on a Saturday morning and for about 3 hours shoveled sand into wheelbarrows to be moved from the back lot to the play structure around the side of the building. An opportunity for seemingly pointless sand shoveling is far from what is in mind for that back lot. This area is going to be renovated into a welcoming space where teens and mentors can chill, activities and events can be held, and where some bonfires may even be in order.
Blessed by the opportunity to serve within my new community simply for a morning, I decided to pursue a potential volunteer opportunity with MYTHIRDPLACE, and immediately encountered a team of warm, passionate, and empowered people who genuinely love what they do. I have been invited onto the team as the writer for the blog and newsletter, an opportunity that a freshman looking to be a Journalism minor could not get much more ecstatic about. I could not be more excited to already feel as if I am part of a strong family, even away from home, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to experience a bonfire or two.