If you were to take a time machine back to 2008 and tell a 16 year old me that one day, I would be the Student Government President at Nyack College Manhattan Campus, you probably would have been punched in the face for speaking such nonsense. The 16 year old Tryphena didn’t even plan to go to college, let alone be a leader at one. Crazy how God works, right?
In high school I was that kid: the kid who hung out in the lunchroom when she should have been in English; the kid who missed first period and came to second period reeking of weed; the kid who the teacher could count on to faithfully skip every homework assignment; the kid who barely went to class, and when she did, she caught up on sleep. I was that kid who hated school and couldn’t wait till the last bell rang so I could run out and smoke some more. I had no ambitions, no goals, and thought nothing of myself. College was nothing more than something the other kids talked about.
Doing what He does best, God caught a hold of me my senior year in high school, and suddenly I started to take life more seriously. Someone told me about Nyack College, and I applied to it as an afterthought. I didn’t really have plans to attend, yet some way, somehow, I wound up at the freshmen orientation at the Manhattan Campus the next September, and some way, somehow, I ended up being the Student Government President four years later.
Why? Because that’s what Nyack does. It takes those who the world says have nothing to offer and cultivates them into people of purpose and passion. Nyack took this slacker from high school and gave me an environment that made me feel welcome and safe. It met me where I was and took me to heights that I never imagined I could reach. It pushed me to be my best while giving me a supportive community that encouraged me to continue on. It gave me classes that I loved and professors who took the time to invest in their students. It showed me that I had leadership potential and then gave me the opportunity to act on that gift so that today, I am no longer that kid, but the Student Government President of Nyack College Manhattan Campus majoring in psychology with a 3.6 GPA, a steady job, and dreams and goals for the future.
The 16 year old Tryphena wouldn’t believe you if you told her this. In her mind, she wasn’t smart enough or good enough to become anything important. Little did she know that all she needed was one incredible God and the right environment to show her how amazing she really was. Luckily for her, she would find both at Nyack College.
What’s your story?