May 19, 2010 | WACO, Texas (UMC)
Alexandria Combs-Morgan (left) shares a laugh with a camper at Glen Lake Camp and Retreat Center in Glen Rose, Texas. A UMNS photo courtesy of A. Combs-Morgan.
Alexandria “Allye” Combs-Morgan leads a double life.
She loves being involved in “United Methodist things,” but school activities are also vital to her well-being.
That made her decision to move with her clergy mom from Fort Worth to Waco a bit tough. After all, Allye was about to begin her senior year in high school.
A year ago, Allye’s mother, the Rev. Valda Jean Combs, a lawyer-turned-pastor, was appointed to Wesley United Methodist Church, Waco.
At first, the mother and daughter considered asking one of Allye’s friends if she could live with her family for senior year.
But Allye chose to move with her single mom.
“I decided there wasn’t anything I could do about it,” she says.
“My mom has fibromyalgia, and it doesn’t stop her. She keeps going and does it with a smile.”
That positive attitude seems to have rubbed off on Allye, who in Waco transferred to a charter school with only about 20 people in her class.
Ever the optimist, however, she notes, “I like smaller schools.”
“Moving to Waco was one the hardest things I’ve done,” she admits. “It’s a whole different culture.”
But her new classmates recognized her leadership savvy and elected her senior class treasurer. Graduating May 29, Allye also has been service coordinator for the junior class and worked on the yearbook staff.
‘The church is always there for you’
The stability of the church plays an important role for Allye.
“The church is always there for you,” she says. “It is structured” where so much else in life is “chaotic.”
Allye’s involvement spans far beyond the local congregation to the district, conference, jurisdictional and national levels.
This year she is president of the South Central Jurisdiction’s youth team. “That means a lot to me,” she says. She also is a member of the United Methodist Commission on Communication.
Her next step is college—McMurry University in Abilene, just three hours from her new home. A graduate degree is her goal.
“I want to get a master’s in social work,” she explains. “I really want to work in the church with middle- and high-school students.”
Her advice to others who encounter challenges?
“You may think something is impossible,” she says. However, once you face it, “you feel a sense of accomplishment. You can do anything.”
*Dunlap-Berg is internal content editor for United Methodist Communications.
News media contact: Barbara Dunlap-Berg, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5489 or email@example.com.