January 25, 2018
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Have you ever had an individual involved in your life that you don’t know what you would do without? Or somebody that has helped shape you as a person? Imagining a life lacking a significant leader; Growing and changing as a person having someone to guide you along is nonexistent. Having a great leader in your life to point you in the right direction as well as be there for you while you’re growing as a person is greatly important. That's what Kris Kincaid my youth minister at church has done for me. Kris is a very important leader in my life. She the youth minister at my church, who has impacted my life in many different ways. She has been there for me in times where someone like her is much needed. Other than being a youth minister she is like a best friend to me. The three main things she has done for me are that she has helped me get involved, she has connected me with so many others, and last but certainly not least, she has taught me many lessons.

So first she has helped me get involved with a lot of things. It started off with service projects at church. As a youth group, all of us have had the chance to get engaged in many different projects. I helped complete a task for our church community where I spent three hours helping cook, serve, and clean up after a dinner. The dinner was for the 10th graders who were getting confirmed. Being able to help and be around some fun and inspiring  people was a very great feeling and most definitely worth my time. Getting involved escalated fairly fast. I am involved in almost everything that I can be now, that isn’t sports, and I have to thank Kris for that. When Kris first became our youth minister I was reluctant to do anything I didn't have to, but she changed that about me. There is this four day camp that takes place in Danbury, Wisconsin that we got an offer to attend. My first thought was there is no chance I am going. I tend to get super  homesick so going to a four day camp never crossed my mind. With help from Kris, as well as my parents, I ended up going. I loved the camp itself and I especially loved meeting people, but I cried most of the time. Being so close minded about it in the first place made me not get the full experience that I could've gotten. The first time I went to the camp was in 2016. The next year we got another offer to come back. I willingly decided to go this time because I thought the overall experience would be better because I was a whole year older. I went and my church ended up being the only church there so we got to stay in the house where the youth pastors would have stayed instead of the cabins because there was no other people there. I wasn't homesick at all until a girl in the grade below me got sick and threw up. The people that know me, know that if someone throws up I go into complete panic mode. I immediately started to cry and wanted to go home. Instead Kris was there to calm me down. She helped me become a little more willing to stay. If it wasn't for Kris I would have hated the rest of the trip, but she helped me through that. Another event that Kris helped me become involved in was a huge youth gathering taking place in Houston, Texas that’s coming up in 2018. In the end of July we are flying there to go to a huge youth gathering where there will be over 30,000 youth present. After that we will be helping with hurricane related duties. This is another situation where if it wasn't for Kris I never would have imagined myself going. I am still pretty nervous for it because I have never flown in a plane before and I tend to worry lots. She has already started to talk me through it so I am growing towards the idea of being more comfortable with it. I am some what alright about it. Not only has Kris got me involved in church related things, in my opinion she contributed to me getting involved at school as well. I am in many activities at school. Besides sports I am in the Lantern, SAAD, and Interact. I know that it was my decision to join them but she has helped me break my shell and be more open to things like that.

With my shell is on its way to being crumbled, me getting involved more and being not as shy, I have been more open to meeting more people. Kris has helped me meet others inside and out of our church. She did not specifically introduce us but she contributed to how we met. In the church I have met so many people. Kris asked me If I wanted to work the nursery. The nursery is a play room where the younger kids who can't or don't want to sit through the service can go. Myself and another girl my age switch off supervising the kids as they entertain themselves. Having that responsibility has helped me meet adults who are parents to the kids who come in, also the young kids that play in there. It is a nice thing to know that you have the trust from a parent to watch their son or daughter. If it wasn’t for Kris I wouldn't have the opportunity to do that. Another thing that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do if it wasn't for Kris would be Luther Park. Luther Park is a four day camp that I have been to the last two years. At Luther Park, during these two years, I have met a lot of people who influenced my life a lot. For example, Lyle was at the camp both years but this past summer I got to connect with him more than the previous year. He is a great example of how Kris has connected me with people. Most importantly, Kris has also taught me a lot of things that will benefit me throughout the rest of my life.

The most important thing in my opinion Kris has done for me is teach me a lot. For the time that I've known Kris she has taught me more than you can Imagine. The biggest thing I think that she taught me was to face my fears. I don’t know if I would even call it a fear. I used to get majorly homesick. Kris helped me overcome that by bringing me to camps and such. I am definitely not fully over it but she has taught me to cope with it as much as possible. Another thing that she has taught me is to stand up for what I think is right. I go to meetings with my leadership team and she has taught me that if I have an idea that I want to share I should raise my hand and get it out there. That leads me into my team. I am on a Peer Ministry Leadership Team for my church. There are about 10 or so of us on the team. Many of us have worked for it. I have trained and learned so much stuff not only about faith but about being a leader. The best part of it all is that none of this could've happened without the help of Kris. In the summer we would have meetings and we would plan events and most importantly we would train for peer ministry. It sure was long and boring at times, but in the long run it will be so good for me. The most important thing that Kris taught me was to be myself. Not to change so that someone else likes me or change so I can make friends. More to be me and the real friends will show and the fake ones will go away. I should never not be me to make someone else like me. That has changed me a lot as a person. Over the past year I have changed “friend groups” completely, Kris influenced that greatly.

These are the biggest reasons why Kris is a big leader in my life. She has impacted my life by contributed to me getting involved, helped me connect with others, and last but not least she taught me a lot of stuff. I am really looking forward to many years to come with her in my life. Having Kris in my life makes everything more exciting because I have a more open mind when she is with me. Without Kris, I wouldn't be the same person writing this essay nor would I have such a blessing to write my essay about.

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