It’s a rainy Monday afternoon at Summit. I walk briskly into the back entrance of the dining hall; the atmosphere is light and happy inside despite the weather. Students are gathered around tables, eating, laughing and talking.
I stand in line behind Blanca, waiting to get food. We both get the broccoli soup and a turkey cheddar sandwich. I ask if I can sit with her. “Of course!” she laughs. She has one of those distinctive laughs, the one you hear from down the hall and know it’s her; big, joyful, and contagious. We settle at a table in the middle of the room.
Blanca tells me she is from Queens, New York. Born and raised. Her parents immigrated there from El Salvador in the late 70’s to escape the Salvadoran Civil War.
Blanca had a happy upbringing in New York, the middle child of 11 siblings. She finished college, worked at a legal firm in New York, and taught English in Korea. Several years into her career, however, the endless cycle of work, drinks with friends, and living for the weekend became burdensome.
“I started to ask ‘what is this life? What am I doing? I’m tired of this. God, what do you want me to do?’”
She received her reply, with a simple thought; I want you to serve me.
In 2015, Blanca applied to Summit. When she was accepted to the Class of 2017, she knew this was it; this was the moment her life would change. She tells me her two years at Summit have been transformative. She has learned who she is in Christ, how to intelligently defend what she believes, and what it means to live for the benefit of others.
I ask her what she would say to someone who is on the fence about applying to Summit. “Oh man I would probably say, ‘do you love yourself enough to let God change you?’”
Her eyes light up as she draws an imaginary line on the cafeteria table.
“I’m a visual person. This line is your lifetime. Summit is just two years. Two years of not thinking of anything else but the relationship between you and God. Those two years can change the rest of your life.”