“I never finished a bachelor’s degree, because I was busy working and raising children,” shares Trudi Alvarado. “Going back to school at my age is a challenge in itself. But, I’m actually considering pursuing a full degree; not necessarily for a vocation but just for my own personal growth in God.”

Growing up, Trudi never realized she could have a personal relationship with Christ. She was haunted by the question of whether or not she was good enough to go to Heaven. However, after marrying and moving to the Valley, she started attending a church that shared the message of salvation in a way she understood. “Three years after first attending the church, with my marriage on the brink of divorce, I cried out to God and turned my life over to Christ,” Trudi says. “That was 33 years ago, and God has been so faithful. He saved me, my marriage, my husband and all three of my children.”

Trudi found Stark College & Seminary while she was looking for a Bible study that might go a little deeper than the usual ones. “I actually didn’t realize until I attended the first class that it was a full fledged college course!” she tells us. “The best part of my classes has been my classmates. Everyone has been so involved in each class. I’ve only taken classes with Professor Johnston, and he has been very interesting as a teacher. His depth of knowledge seems infinite, yet he never makes you feel like you don’t belong in his class.”

“Don’t be intimidated to take a class just because you are a lay-person,” Trudi encourages others. “You will be rewarded and blessed for any effort you put in. I only take one class per semester, so I won’t get overwhelmed and discouraged. So if you’re not on a time table, take one class, and you just might be surprised by how much you learn.”

Outside of Stark, you can find Trudi working as the Point of Care Coordinator at Edinburg Regional Medical Center and serving at BT Church Edinburg. She also loves sewing, furniture rehab, running, biking, gardening, and spending time with her husband, children, grandchild, and dogs.