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How BCA Helped me Build a Foundation for Life

I remember my first day at Briercrest Christian Academy (formerly Caronport High School). I had moved all my items into a new house with a new dorm family and waved goodbye to my crying parents. I felt the thrill of independence coupled with the fear of uncertainty. I wanted to form my own high school memories. I wanted to learn and grow in school, relationships, and faith. I wanted to find my place and to belong.

I had two great years at BCA, and I often reminisce on this foundational time in my life. Looking back, I can see how God was at work preparing me and nurturing me.

Acceptance without compromise

BCA was a lot of fun. Coming from a small town, I often felt left out when I did not participate in what all my peers were doing on the weekends. Being “a part of the gang” required I engaged in activities that were at odds with my faith and who I wanted to become. When I came to BCA, I now had opportunities to have great fun without being compromised with my values.

Classroom learning far beyond the desk

I got to play soccer, hockey, go on numerous trips to Moose Jaw, and have wild dance parties. We made great memories, formed close friendships, and lived our teen years to the full. As Goethe once said, “Tell me with whom you consort and I will tell you who you are; if I know how you spend your time, then I know what might become of you” (quote courtesy of Miss Klippenstein’s ELA B10 study of Schindler’s List).

Coming from a small town, I often felt left out when I did not participate in what all my peers were doing on the weekends. When I came to BCA, I now had opportunities to have great fun without being compromised with my values.
 

Relational richness, a key ingredient

Strangers quickly became close friends with whom I formed inside jokes, played sports, and shared conversations on our biggest fears and the meaning of life. We often joked how BCA could be a bubble and “everyone knew everyone’s business.” Albeit true at times, the privilege of time and proximity also meant that we quickly formed an intimacy that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible. We saw the messiness of sin in community, and we also experienced the joy of kinship. Many of these friends continue to some of my closest. Through sharing meals, homes, and classrooms, we also came to share our hearts. In the years since BCA, these are the people I call to share my exciting news with, as well as who I call on my hardest days.

Transferrable college credits and college friendships  

BCA is unique in that it is attached to Briercrest College. This meant I got to take college-accredited courses that were later transferable to my university. I got a taste of the increased academic responsibility of post-secondary education and failed my first quiz in a safe environment.

Further, being attached to the college provided a surplus of older and more mature young adults role models. There was one particular individual who took an interest in me, and we quickly became friends. When I was going through a period of doubt and uncertainty in my faith in university, I was able to reach out and we had some very formative discussions. This was yet another example of how the Lord pivotally used a connection from BCA later in my life.

"We saw the messiness of sin in community, and we also experienced the joy of kinship." One of my biggest takeaways from BCA will always be the people.
 
 
VIDEO: Explore how discipleship and community work together at Briercrest Christian Academy.

“Christianity grew from being a culture that my family upheld, to a relationship that would form the basis for my life.”

I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian family and arrived at BCA during a time when I was still sorting out my own stance on my faith. After a few key experiences at camp, I began to make my faith personal, and yet I was struggling with a lot of head knowledge that had not yet made it to my heart. During my time at BCA, I was inspired by people who not only knew about God but knew and loved Him personally. This had a significant impact on me and set down beginning blocks that God would later build on. Christianity grew from being a culture that my family upheld, to a relationship that would form the basis for my life.

Our time under the lamppost has now passed…

It is hard to believe that my first day at BCA was over 10 years ago. It seems like such a small blip in time, and I am reminded that Caronport is no longer “our” place and school. My friends have mainly moved on, taking our memories and connections with us. Caronport is now inhabited by new students who are making new memories and forming new connections, and our time under the lamppost has now passed. And yet, its’ impact lives on through relationships, memories, and faith. I hope that one day I’ll be the crying parent sending my son off to start his new adventure at BCA, and I could not think of a better experience I would want him to have.

For more stories from Briercrest alumni around the world, sign up for the monthly Briercrest Connections newsletter. Plus, stay tuned for more Briercrest Christian Academy blogs coming soon!

Jennifer Woo

Jennifer Woo graduated from Briercrest Christian Academy in 2010 and has since pursued a career in Medicine. Jennifer is a Psychiatry Resident Doctor in Regina, SK. where she is currently finishing her residency training. Jennifer and her family plan to move to Calgary in March to complete her subspecialty training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 

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I really admire how much Caronport has to offer. For a small town school, BCA has so many opportunities involving sports, performing arts, etc. The community also provides so much fellowship, which really helps students grow in their faith.
Robyn Newby (Caronport High School)