This year at Baymonte Christian School we are highlighting alumni – past students who’ve attended Baymonte, many preschool through eighth grade! Today we are highlighting Naia Neal. Naia was a light on our campus for the eight years she attended school at Baymonte. She is currently a junior at Monte Vista Christian High School. Here’s what she had to say about her time at Baymonte:

Baymonte was an amazing school to grow up in. Baymonte wasn’t just a school but a family. I did not just have classmates but rather brothers and sisters. I did not just have teachers but rather mentors and people to look up to for guidance. Baymonte was a place of comfort and safety. It was a community filled with loving, kind and compassionate people. While there, I never felt alone or lacking love. The Baymonte teachers care for each individual student and make sure that they know it. What did I enjoy about Baymonte? I think I could say everything. From the field trips, to the birthdays in class, from the spirit days to the mission trips, Baymonte had it all. What a wonderful school Baymonte is and being a student there was both a blessing and a privilege.

Picking just one highlight from Baymonte is almost impossible. There were just so many wonderful experiences that I had there. If I had to pick a favorite though, I think I would say the time Baymonte took us on a mission trip to Mexico. I was always taught that you can spread the word of God everywhere and that there are many places who lack knowledge about His love, but being immersed in a completely different setting was utterly life-changing. I have to admit I was a little nervous and scared as I stepped into Tijuana for the first time. I didn’t know the language, or the people, or even really the culture. All I knew was that I wanted to help. Through my teachers pushing me, I stepped outside of my comfort zone, talked in a language I didn’t know and invited people to learn about the word of God. It is so different when you go on a mission trip than when you just hear about it. After that week in Mexico, I was never the same. The miracles I saw and the lives we touched, how could I ever go back to the way I was before? The point is I didn’t. I was changed in a way so great that it is so difficult to put into words. I became more confident in my faith, more willing to branch out as I shared the good news. I discovered my desperate need to share the gospel with others even when doing so may scare me. I also discovered how blessed I am and how selfish I can be. Over there in Mexico, the people have so little in comparison to me. And yet, they are still so happy and content in life. Baymonte gave me this opportunity, the opportunity to experience God’s love and His work in action. Since then I have gone back to that orphanage to see those I met once before in 7th grade. Things have changed so much there in Mexico. Without Baymonte, who knows if I would have ever pushed myself to have an experience like that. So out of all my experiences, I would have to say that the Mexico mission trip had to be the highlight of my Baymonte life.

There are many areas where Baymonte prepared me for high school. For example, the curriculum at Baymonte was an amazing base for the high school education. All the essays, DBQs, Socratic circles, stunningly hard math word problems, lab experiences and in-depth discussions concerning the Bible has helped me more in high school than I first realized. Through Baymonte, I have learned the basic structure format of an essay, how to analyze data, how to ask meaningful questions and so much more. Baymonte didn’t only prepare me educationally, but emotionally. Through the values taught at Baymonte, I have learned how to be confident in who I am and how to stay true to myself even when others pressure me. I have learned how to have in-depth conversations and how to love others through my actions rather than just my words. With Baymonte, I walked into high school ready (or as ready as a freshman could be) and have found myself using all the tools and resources provided for me every day.

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