College student Carly Ann Carter grew up in a Christian home in West Texas. Looking back, she said, "life was simple, beautiful, and the days were made up of the little memories that have ended up meaning the most to me."
An only child, Carter attended First United Methodist Church in Wellington, Texas. She participated in Sunday school and various other church activities throughout the week. She said that strong faith foundation has set her up for success.
"I was taught to be kind to everyone, offering love and blessings wherever life may take you. … I am set deep in my faith and it will carry me through the rest of my life," she said.
Carter is studying to be a teacher at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. While she said she wasn't fond of elementary and middle school, things changed when she entered high school. There, she found her niche, becoming active within her church's youth group and in student council and other activities.
| First Lions Club Meeting with Lions Club President.
It was those experiences, she said, that led her to pursue teaching.
"Every teacher I have had has taught me some type of lesson, whether that be through the curriculum or the simple things in life found in the conversation and daily tasks of working with others. My teachers have prepared me to become the teacher I hope to be. They have encouraged me to never give up, no matter what I am doing."
Carter also credits her church with fostering that can-do attitude.
"The United Methodist Church has (shaped) me into being the best Christian I can possibly be. While we all fail from time to time, the importance my church has instilled in me is to never give up or quit trying to be the best you can be."
A Gift of Hope scholar, Carter is grateful for United Methodist Student Day and the scholarship she received to help her attend college. She said the money lightened the financial load, and she urges United Methodists to continue to give generously on this Special Sunday.
"In today's economy and fast-paced life, a college education is becoming necessary in order for survival. By the church supporting United Methodist Student Day, more students, like myself, would be able to have the financial burden eased and the hope of an education and career (would become) a possibility within reach."
As Carter pursues her dreams, she said she knows that no matter what life may throw at her, her faith will get her through it.
"While I may not be able to make a difference in the world, I strive to make a world of difference in the students of my classroom. Every person has that teacher that impacted their life and changed their outlook for their future. I pray that I can be the difference for (my) students.
"My Christian upbringing has inspired me to be the best teacher I can, shining the light of Christ every moment of the day."
Julie Dwyer, general church content editor, United Methodist Communications
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Student Day calls the church to support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. The special offering provides scholarships for qualified United Methodist applicants.
When you give generously on United Methodist Student Day, you support students as they prepare for life in uniting faith with knowledge. Give now.