Issue 32
March 31, 2020
HC Alumni News - Volunteerism
Greetings from our own homes to yours! We are reaching out to you from a safe distance!

HC has focused upon being technologically prepared and advanced. In this time of COVID-19, we are thankful for the efforts. As Houston Christian returned from Spring Break, on March 24th, we embarked on school-wide distance learning and have been operating remotely. We have quickly learned new ways to communicate and be productive. While some of our teachers have chosen to teach from their classrooms due to the need for lab space and materials, most have settled quickly into what will be our new “normal” for the unknown future, by teaching at home through Google Meetups. We are all staying safe and continuing with our mission "as a college-preparatory school dedicated to the highest academic standard for the development of moral character, the enrichment of spiritual lives, and the perpetuation of growth in Christian ideals."  
 
We somehow squeezed a whole month of activity into the two short weeks that we were in school. Our annual Missions Emphasis Week kicked off the month and our chaplains and students planned a successful Community Service day where each class was assigned to volunteer with organizations in our community. Our freshmen sorted and prepared meals at the Houston Food Bank, sophomores made meals and care packages with Meals on Wheels, juniors helped out at Spring Spirit to clean, organize and paint their facility, and our seniors made their annual visit to Brookwood to host a "Go Texan Day" celebration for residents.
 
Missions Emphasis Week allows our students to hear testimonies and wisdom from different perspectives. Restoring Families Band, of which Señor Sam Mendizabal's wife is a member, provided musical respite. Students were also led in worship by Daniel Bernard, the youth pastor at Royalwood Church who shared about how serving missions is a mindset. 
 
After a week of reminding our students about the importance of helping others and working together, we ended the week with the ever popular International Day. The HC Diversity Club worked hard to organize and highlight the many countries and cultures across the globe by learning traditional dances, highlighting music and composers from different countries, and of course sampling the cuisine. Many countries were represented and no one left hungry! There is no better way to remember we are all God's children than celebrating each student's heritage!
Ready, Set, Go... to your remote classroom!
Coming Up!
Off to the Cyber Races and support HC!

Join us at Gala - virtually! Bid on unique items – including Mr. Lister’s latest bird house creation!

We moved our wonderful Kentucky Derby themed HC gala completely online! This means ANYONE who checks out our website during the week of April 13 is able to support our school! This is our most important annual fundraiser. Please help HC meet its financial goals.

Bid on some great items and support student scholarship through Paddles Up for Indexed Tuition!

No ticket necessary - invite your friends to join you through your favorite online platform, join us for a derby party.
Stay Connected!
Walls closing in? Take this as an opportunity to reconnect with friends and classmates.
 
Let us know if we can help you to set up a Zoom call with your classmates for an online reunion. Be sure to send us a screenshot of your call or tag us on Instagram @hc_alumni !

We are happy to help keep all our alumni connected to each other to encourage healthy habits!
Party on the Patio
Stay tuned for our second annual Senior Class & Legacy Brick unveiling on campus during lunch!

We will be celebrating our 2020 senior's hard work after the Junior Red shirt ceremony, currently scheduled for April 23, 2020 .

Not sure you have a brick? Contact us at alumni@houstonchristian.org to see if you have left your mark on HC!
Mustang Stories
Rachel (Moore) Graves '12
Rachel Graves '12 is a Certified Child Life Specialist, she graduated from Furman University in 2016 and received her Masters in Child Life from the University of Georgia in 2019. She is currently working at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston in the Emergency Department. She and her husband Zach live in Georgia with their two dogs, Val"Kyrie" and Rocket.

"I knew for a long time that I wanted to teach, and it was during my high school years that I explored different ways to explore my call to teach. I had the opportunity to shadow a Certified Child Life Specialist at HC and learned about the role a child life specialist (CLS) can have in a child’s healthcare journey. Once I experienced the role of a CLS, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. A Certified Child Life Specialist has a background in child development and supports children and their families through stressful events, most often in a hospital setting. CLS are trained to provide developmentally appropriate preparation and support for procedures, diagnosis education, coping strategies, and therapeutic activities to address the holistic needs of pediatric patients and their families.

I completed my Masters in Child Life from the University of Georgia in January 2019 and started working PRN for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in April 2019. In October, I started working in the Emergency Department, and I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else. I have the opportunity and joy to teach children about their hospital visit and see the evidence of my services in reduced anxiety and increased use of positive coping strategies. I might brainstorm with patients about how they can successfully cope with their IV placement or getting their stitches. I might use trial and error to figure out which distraction item will be best for a patient struggling to cope. I might comfort patients, siblings, or parents and coach them through a trauma evaluation. I might be the only person a child trusts in the hospital because I told him my name and explained what the doctor was doing to keep him safe. I might be the person to use words that a child understands to help her understand that she has cancer. I might be the supportive and encouraging presence for a family facing a child’s death due to illness or accident. 

I learned skills essential to my job while at Houston Christian, such as critical thinking and the ability to calmly take action in stressful situations. I work in an emotionally charged setting, and I lean on my relationship with Christ for strength when I feel as if I have nothing else to give. My understanding of faith in Jesus grew tremendously during and after my time at Houston Christian. I can do the incredibly important work that I do because of my education and training from Houston Christian, and I am so grateful for that time in my life. I found my calling thanks to a youth group volunteer and a shadow day in high school, and I get to do amazing things within that calling every day."
STAY CONNECTED
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