"My grandfather, John Ringold, was a minister," says Carileigh Jones. He and her grandmother, Lora Ringold, had five children.
Like her mother, Carileigh grew up in the church. "My family is very spiritual," she says. "I believe that having this background and having a foundation in the church has made me the person that I am today."
Hailing from Salisbury, Maryland, Carileigh attends Hampton University in Virginia. Recently she was inducted into the Freddye T. Davy Honors College at Hampton. Her home church is Wesley Temple United Methodist in Salisbury.
Carileigh considers herself "very blessed."
"My family, immediate and church, has always been a wonderful support system," she says. "They encouraged me to be the best that I can be in everything that I do."
The United Methodist Church has played a big role in her life, influencing her studies and career choice. "A huge part of the United Methodist [philosophy] includes giving back to the community through outreach programs, and … helping people who may be less fortunate," Carileigh says.
Her career goal is first, to become a victim's advocate, and second, to practice family law.
"Through this," she says, "I will not only be giving back to my community, but I [also] will be helping people who need it the most."
Asked to recall her most memorable high school experience, Carileigh describes her graduation.
"I realized how much I had been through to obtain my diploma, but also that I had a ways to go before I was finished," she says. "I realized how blessed I am to have such loving and supporting family and friends that helped me and encouraged me through my school years."
Her most memorable college experience was a peer's suicide. "I was very shocked and hurt," she admits, but "it solidified my decision to be a victim's advocate. It is a strong desire of mine to help people in situations like those, in order to prevent such tragedies."
Carileigh is grateful for her World Communion Scholarship. "It aided in giving me the opportunity to get a higher education," she says. "Because of that, I will use the education that I receive to give back to the church and my community.
"The church should support the World Communion Sunday [offering] because it is going toward a wonderful cause."
Carileigh gives Hampton University high marks. "It is giving me a rigorous curriculum in order to meet the qualifications of my career choice," she says. "Hampton requires each student to complete community service hours and an internship, so, I am also receiving the out-of-class experience that I will need to be successful."
Her faith will always be important, she notes.
"Becoming a victim's advocate and an attorney will be very demanding emotionally," Carileigh realizes. "I will use my faith in order to pray for the safety and well-being of the victims, as well as a just and effective case resolution. I will also use my faith to encourage the victims."
Barbara Dunlap-Berg, general church content editor, United Methodist Communications.
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God's children. The special offering provides World Communion Scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program.
When you give generously on World Communion Sunday, you equip gifted, qualified students from around the globe to become the world changers God created them to be. Give now.