“I wanted to go to SCS after my high school graduation so I could learn more about the Bible,” shares SCS student Vanessa Escalante. “However the opportunity did not arise until I finished my associate degree at Del Mar and applied to TAMUCC. I was all set for classes and ready to go to TAMUCC, but I realized I didn’t have the funds to go. In God’s perfect timing, He provided a new path. He called me to SCS where I not only could learn more about the Bible, but I could also afford the education.”

Growing up the child of a pastor, Vanessa always knew about Jesus. However, it was not until high school that she finally understood who God truly is. “I was always super shy and anxious about everything growing up,” she says. “But, when I started to understand who God is, I finally began to understand the person I was in Christ was not who I was showing to the rest of the world. I didn’t need to be shy or anxious, because I was made new in Christ.”

Since that moment, Vanessa has actively pursued a relationship with God and is heavily involved in her church’s ministry. As the Youth Ministry Assistant at Padre Island Baptist church, she gets to work alongside 7th-12th graders and share Jesus with them. “My classes at SCS have equipped me to serve the youth at church by helping me understand God’s word better,” Vanessa tells us. “I have learned more about how the church works and how to teach scripture effectively.”

In addition to the education at SCS, Vanessa also found community here. “I have learned so much at Stark, but my favorite part is the people,” Vanessa says. “All of the students and staff are such God fearing people. It truly is an awesome community.”

While Vanessa is not sure where God is leading her in terms of her future career, she has faith God will lead her in the right direction. Outside of SCS, you can find Vanessa enjoying the beach, spending time with her family and friends, or helping out with her family’s ministry, Church Without Walls.