Over the weekend, we were able to welcome both prospective students and alumni. All of us were so ecstatic to finally meet the possible class of 2012! Friday night around 5pm, the students arrived. We welcomed them with open hearts and extreme enthusiasm. There were six of them: four interviewing students and two previewing students. Friday night for dinner, Mitchell Aldridge and I had the opportunity to sit with two of the interviewing students. As the meal began, Mitch and I asked them many questions, learning their opinions on community, unity, fellowship, and life goals. Now, I’m not exaggerating, Mitchell and I probably asked them 15-20 questions about their lives and their dreams and their hobbies. They willingly answered all of our questions, sometimes turning them back onto us, to learn our perspective as current IMPACT 360 students. One of them is a wrestler who plays piano and loves to beat box. The other is a basketball player who can make up rhymes on the spot to go along with London’s beat better than anyone I know. Both of them long for a community, a safe place where they can trust the people around them. They have passions and ambitions and, having had an extensive conversation with them, they love the Lord with all of their hearts. All of the prospective students who came to visit us were amazing, and my classmates and I are so excited to see who comes back next year! We will be praying and encourage others to pray with us about the class of ‘12!

The alumni came and spent time with us as well. All throughout the weekend they encouraged us, counseled us, prayed for us. They gave the prospective students a tour of the campus on Friday evening before dinner. On Saturday, they spent time with our guests until the time of their departure, answering last minute questions and helping with the interviews. That afternoon, they spoke to us and answered our questions about being a student, what it is like to be an alum, what we can do to make this experience the best that it can be, etc. One of the questions which was asked was “What regrets do you have from your time here?” Several of the alumni answered this one. Most of their answers revolved around not having built adequate relationships with their classmates. It is so easy to gravitate towards one or two or three people and never establish good relationships with everyone. There will always be a couple people that each of us “click” with, but the problem occurs when we become exclusive. We would appreciate prayer for that aspect of our community! Having the alumni back on campus was fun and we are so happy about getting to welcome them back in November with the new prospective students!

Ashley Willis
IMPACT 360 Class of 2011