In order for one to fully grasp what graduating from Stark College & Seminary means to me, let’s travel back in time to a small elementary school in San Antonio. Then, I was just a little girl with dark brown eyes and dark brown hair that sat so quietly in a small desk. I never said a word to anyone but, on the inside, I was screaming for help. I didn’t think I was smart as I struggled through math and reading. After all, I was held back in kindergarten for not knowing how to say the alphabet. Feeling defeated, I lost all hope to learn. Words floated off the pages, and simple math problems seemed like impossible calculations. 

Little did I know one day my whole life would take a giant leap forward. As the teachers and my parents discussed what was going on in the classroom, an answer to my silent call for help finally came. I was tested for a learning disorder and finally received the care and attention I needed to progress in my studies. 

I often think back to that time when I was just a child wondering why I was having such a hard time in school. Since then, the struggle to learn has been immensely difficult, but with God at my side, I refuse to give up. I thank God daily for my teachers who first noticed I learned differently and who helped me see I was not only capable of reading and doing math, but I was smart enough to make it through school. 

In light of this, graduation is not just a small speck of sand on a beach of accomplishments. Graduating with my certificate is a life changing moment that proves God has remained faithful to me all of these years. It reminds me nothing is impossible and to keep on going no matter what. Graduating encourages me to help others strive for their goals too, no matter how big or small they may be. 

I am so grateful for Stark College and Seminary. All of the professors have not only taught me how to interpret the Bible and use that knowledge to lead Bible studies in my church, but they have also taught me how to study, write papers, and ask for help. They have helped me see how that little girl I used to be was made in the image of God and very capable of learning and going to college. I never could have imagined I would be here today, and I will always be thankful to my SCS familia who has encouraged me and walked with me every step of the way.


This article was written by SCS student Stephanie Barron. She is graduating with her Certificate in Ministry.