Why Alumni Connect?
“I benefitted a lot from mentorship throughout college in the student ministry I was a part of; I really grew,” Kevin begins. This discipleship had an impact on his time in college, and he knew he would need someone guiding him during the the next stages of life and career changes.
“I think what I was looking for was really someone to walk through life with, and someone who is flexible in doing that, not working out of their own curriculum for mentorship,” he describes. He was looking for someone who would give advice and help him adapt to the new challenges he would face. “Someone who has bought into the relationship just as much as I have. Someone who challenges me, encourages me, and just shares life with me.”
Gary began mentoring Kevin over the phone during his first post-college job in Washington, D.C. “We really do connect every other week. Busy schedules may come in the way, but on average, every other week. When I’m up in State College [Pennsylvania] — I go up there from time to time — I will check in with him, and we’ll get some time together.”
When Kevin entered the real world, he found that college didn’t completely prepare him for this new reality.
“There’s sort of a perception painted throughout your college years of what that move will look like. From what to look for in church, and your career and how to handle your career,” he says. “And you get out there, and not that it’s totally off, but many times our expectations are not quite aligned with what’s actually happening.”
Kevin also worked through the challenge of allowing faith to be the core of each aspect of life. He had learned the concept through college and growing up in church, but the practical application in his own life became the issue. “All of these things are commingling with each other, and our faith is the groundwork for that.”
Spiritual Growth through Mentoring
“It’s been a busy last year and a half for me– moving around a bit, getting engaged, walking through a couple different jobs and churches– and I think God’s really revealing His constancy,” Kevin explains. “Jesus’ Lordship is a big thing in the midst of changing seasons and perspectives, relationships, churches. Time is just a really good teacher in terms of life experience.”
He appreciates Gary’s wisdom and guidance in these changes, and Kevin looks forward to the next step in his life: marriage.
“I’m currently engaged and getting married at the end of the summer, and not only has Gary walked with the Lord for a number of years himself, but he’s seen different things happen in his own life and his children’s lives and can speak from the heart in terms of marriage and children and family.”
To Graduating Seniors:
Kevin encourages other graduating seniors to get involved with Alumni Connect and take advantage of the mentoring they offer.
“You’re going to need it. It’s going to come to a point where you’re going to want someone to bounce thoughts off of, to share your heart and life with and say what would you do in this situation? Do you have anything to encourage me with?” he says. To him, the question isn’t why Alumni Connect, but why not.
“We always need people. We’re not called to trudge through life on our own, trying to be heroes; we need people to walk with. I think having a mentor who’s not just willing, but excited about doing that is incredibly important.”
“The Lord calls older men to seek out and grow and challenge the younger men. Likewise, young men are called to respect men who have walked with the Lord for extended periods of time. Scripture backs it.”