Every year thousands of United Methodist students graduate from high school with the desire to attend college. They are conscious that a college graduate is one way to a great career and to make a difference in the world. But for many of our students, college is only a dream because they lack the funds to get a college education. For some, even If they attend college, they will graduate with debts that cripple them for years to come. But The United Methodist Church is making a difference in the lives of young people through United Methodist Student Day offerings received annually.
Anna KayTeekell, a student at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas grew up in a United Methodist pastor's home and church. She has always felt supported by her faith community of Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, and pastors who have shaped her understanding of the world.
United Methodist Student Day "scholarships, supported by the United Methodist Student Day Sunday offerings, are crucial to the lives of young adults. It is becoming increasingly difficult to graduate from college without student debt, but the United Methodist Student Day scholarship is one reason I will not have to deal with interest payments and creditors for the next thirty years," said Teekell.
While in college she is honing her writing skills through her contribution as a writer for Southwestern’s campus newspaper, The Megaphone and producing, The Spyglass, the University's literary magazine. She is also involved in grant writing for the arts community associated with the Georgetown Art Center. Teekell plans to be an editor. She hopes to spread ideas that will change minds for the better. Teekell would like to provide people with the information and support that will shift them away from polarization to understanding.
Teekell says "educating young United Methodists is one of the most important ways to ensure that we make good decisions with our lives and grow into strong Christians who will spread God’s word truthfully and effectively. I hope that The United Methodist Church will always support its growing members as we learn our place in this beautiful and troubled world."
"My goals for the future are to go wherever God leads me. For now, my plan is to edit and publish books to encourage the spread of important ideas. I am slowly learning that I am not in control of my life. I will go where I am called, and we will figure out where that is together," Teekell continued
Books have played an important role in Teekell's life and have taught her to empathize across border conversations; advocate for those unable to speak for themselves, and to brave the unknown. "If I can play a part to bring that kind of learning to even a few people, I will have succeeded more than I ever dreamed, said Teekell.
Barbara Dunlap-Berg, freelance writer and editor, retired from UMCom
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.