Scholarship recipient finds solace in church family

Jennifer Ayash did not have a perfect childhood, but her faith in God helped turned that around.

Despite turmoil in the house, her family always made time for church. It was because of her little brother Jayden that her home life turned around. During her freshman year of high school her father attended a retreat at the Mt. Bethel UMC in Marietta, GA as Jayden's chaperone. While at the retreat, her father gave his life to Jesus Christ, which made her home life more bearable.

Even though Jennifer suffers from depression she was able, at a young age, to find a passion for serving children and doing so, she says, "provided me with great joy."

"Being active within the UMC has provided me with a community of people that support me and listen to me in times of good and bad. It has also provided me with leaders that have challenged me to grow and strengthen my relationship with Christ."

"The [Gift of Hope] scholarship has boosted my self-confidence and reminded me of the gifts and talents God has blessed me with." Because of your contributions on United Methodist Student Day, Jennifer has the confidence to pursue a career in counseling for teenagers.

Jennifer didn't make a lot of friends growing up but she remembers her first year at Kennesaw State University.

"When I showed up early to my first class freshman year I met my best friend Courtney. It was nice to have a companion to accompany [me] through my first few days of college and many days after, too!"

When asked why members should support United Methodist Student Day, Jennifer replies, "The younger generations are the future of the church. It is important to support the students, because it encourages the students to receive and continue their education. It shows the value of education."

Jennifer credits Kennesaw State with giving her the skills she needs to follow her dream: to eventually open her own counseling center for teens.

In the future, Jennifer hopes to travel abroad and encourage people by talking with them about her physical and spiritual journey. She wants to give back to those that are hurting.

"I will use my faith to remember that even if money doesn't provide, God will," she says.

Lladale Carey, web content producer, 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.