We are two weeks into the year, and Fellows Class 18 has gotten off to an amazing start. The invested staff at Impact 360 and the intentional programming provide a framework in which we students can shine, and we are taking advantage of this opportunity.  

Class 18 is made up of 85 students. We represent 7 countries, 22 states, and different educational backgrounds ranging from homeschool to public school to college. We are quick to pray, quick to take one another’s plates after meals, and quick to engage with one another. There is community happening all around, and there is a culture of encouragement and support that makes it easy to get involved.  

I (Ella Grace) have personally loved playing sports with my friends. We have an active student body, and there are always games of pickleball, soccer, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball to get involved in. Speaking for the Fellows community as a whole, we love to watch NFL and college football games. We play Uno and ping pong. We make food together. We play music and bike around campus. We explore Pine Mountain. Even as I write this blog post, there is a large portion of Class 18 grooving together to Just Dance. I have seen that people are intentional to be present with one another, and nothing is too small or too basic to make into a community event. 

Class 18 is quick to laugh, but we are much quicker to jump into deep conversations. I have never before in my life experienced a place where the Christian faith is approached from such a highly intellectual standpoint. While the classwork and reading are rigorous, everything we are learning applies directly to our lives, and we utilize one another as we read and study together. There is a greater purpose in what we are discussing; it’s easy to see how the things we learn can strengthen our personal relationship with Jesus and make us better at both sharing and defending our faith.

When talking to my new friends, I ask them how they got here and what they’re hoping to get out of this year. As a common denominator, many answers involve growing in knowledge about the Lord, gaining a strong Christian community, and honing skills to share the gospel and defend the faith. Some other answers have been to “fall more deeply in love with the Lord,” to “become a man of God who rejects passivity and accepts responsibility,” and to “gain an increased sense of the purpose God has set out for me.” It is easy to see the fruits of these mindsets in my peers because everyone has already been so intentional with the time we’ve had here. 

We’ve been told many times by Impact 360’s staff that we’ll get out what we put into this year, and I have been amazed at what Class 18 has already put in. It’s going to be a great year! 

Ella Grace Walls
Columbus, GA