Witnessing with Speed-Skating
Nancy Swider-Peltz Jr., junior
Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
For Nancy Swider-Peltz Jr., finding her passion was truly a case of the old cliché, "If the shoe fits, wear it." The only difference: Those shoes came with blades.
"I wanted to be a swimmer," she says. "But in early 2000 my mom brought home a pair of used skates from one of the girls she coached. They fit perfectly, so I went to the next practice. God definitely changed my perspective on skating that day. I fell in love with it, and it was awesome to skate with girls my own age."
Nancy's sport makes sense. After all, her mother is a four-time Olympian speed skater. In just a year, Nancy herself made the Olympic trials. "My mom and I were actually paired together, which is done randomly by a computer," she says. "She won. And it's the last time she beat me." Nancy Jr. has qualified for Olympic trials twice, placed fourth at the Junior World Championships in 2006, and has been on the World Cup circuit three times.
"I know I wouldn't be where I am today without God's direction, my parents, or Wheaton's support of my dreams," she says. "They've taught me to win in my sport and career, but also showed me how to win souls for the Lord. In fact, I view myself as a missionary working in the field of speed-skating."
Combining Horses & Jesus
Emily Echols, senior
Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee
At the age of 11, Emily Echols started her own summer horse camp. "When I wanted to start a horse camp to pay for my horses' feed," she says, "my dad told me to go for it." Now, the camp doesn't just pay for her to feed her horses. It pays her tuition as well.
"Every year, I reach about 120 girls for Christ while teaching them to ride horses," she says. "I'm doing what I love and I'm getting paid for it. I've really learned to follow my dreams. Nothing is impossible with God. I'm living proof."
Emily can see clearly now how God has also used the horse camp to provide for her futureby giving her the money to pay for her college education, an education that means so much to her. "I wouldn't be where I am today without my education at Bryan," she says. "They've taught me so much about business, people and the Lord. I am honored to have such an amazing opportunity to learn at Bryan and serve with my camp at the same time."
Entering the Music World
André Anjos, senior
Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois
Major: Recording and Music Business
André Anjos isn't waiting for graduation to start working in his field. In 2007, he started the Remix Artist Collective through which he's been hired to do remixes of songs by artists like Family Force 5, The Shins, CSS and Tokyo Police Club.
"I'm not much of a songwriter, but I've always been interested in recording," he says. "So, a few years ago I started remixing songs."
After winning a few remix contests, big doors began to open. "I sent an e-mail to Vice Records about doing a remix for one of my favorite artists, Bloc Party," he says. Although his remix didn't appear on the band's remix CD, it circulated all over the internet and got rave reviews from Bloc Party fans. With his reputation growing in the music world, André has landed jobs with a number of artists and has scored music for HBO's Entourage.
"I'm just really excited about all that God's doing in my life," he says. "Here at Greenville I've been blessed with good professors who know what they're talking about. They've helped me understand the business world and encouraged me to always do my best."