WHAT STUDENTS SAY
“To be in the ‘In-Crowd’ I had to be a ditz and a klutz,” Inga-Liese Hantho confessed, describing life at her former school.. High school was miserable.
Inga-Liese had friends at her old school, but they were often controlling and degrading. She was enslaved to the desire for their approval. Inga-Liese said she acted like a fake, putting on a face and doing things for her friends for validation and popularity. “You don’t realize just how dysfunctional and detrimental these things are until you leave that situation,” she confided. Anger and resentment often tormented her; the destructive and inappropriate habits of her peers and friends was building a shallow identity that didn’t resemble the kind-hearted follower of Jesus she sought to be.
Inga-Liese eventually found that her only true friends came from the sports crowd. “I miss the teams I was on (Field Hockey and Swim), but I don’t miss the pettiness, the drugs or the alcohol,” she admits. Like many others, Inga-Liese experienced a drastic and positive change in her life from the moment she started putting her clothes away and hanging up pictures of her friends, family, and her beloved dog in her new room at Hillcrest. She was on the verge of a fresh start, and things were going to be different here.
Since first stepping foot in the Castle, the slight sadness of being away from home was hardly noticeable. The excitement of life at Hillcrest overwhelmed her. “I’ve been experiencing God, making friends, and living my life to the fullest,” Inga-Liese said with a smile. The presence of the Lord brought a change to her perspective, carrying joy into her life, teaching her to do as Christ asks. She sums up some of the lessons she’s learning with a reference to James 1:19. She is developing a personality that is, “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” The physical weight of peer pressure, friend conflict, and bad decisions are gently being lifted off her shoulders, leaving her feeling light, free, and thankful for the Lord’s grace that she is finding in Hillcrest’s halls.
Despite suffering a serious concussion in the second week of school, an injury that will likely affect her for the rest of her life, she says she is learning, growing, and loving every minute of her time at Hillcrest. She concluded, “God taught me patience through dealing with my concussion, and he opened my eyes to see all the little joys that He has placed in my life that I wasn’t able to see or appreciate before.” Her faith, her strength, and her character have flourished in the time that she’s spent here. Her ear-to-ear grin radiates as she concludes, “I do not regret coming to Hillcrest, because it is truly is equipping me with the capability to live a life of eternal significance.”
Hillcrest is a premiere boarding school because of the way God works on our campus. Students from around the world unite at Hillcrest for one main objective: to grow in their understanding, knowledge, and practice in following Jesus Christ.
Through Hillcrest’s dynamic academic, athletic, and student life programs students not only build good habits and an ability to attend college. They hear the Gospel daily, through classes, in chapel services, and in the dormitory program. Students from around the world engage in the Gospel-centered community at Hillcrest, building a foundation for community that rests in the nature and glory of God.
Hillcrest’s Chapel program is a primary heart beat for the school. Students meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to unpack the theme for the school year. Students share testimonies, pastors and youth pastors give teaching, and faculty and staff share stories related to the Biblical theme that the school is working through during the year.
Spiritual Formations Week is a century-old tradition that formed around a concept called Prayer Day. In the early 1900’s Hillcrest students were moved by the Spirit to pray for their classmates. A revival broke out and classes were canceled as students gathered with faculty and staff to pray and seek the Lord. Hillcrest has conducted days of prayer, canceling classes to devote time to teaching, training, and practicing prayer and refocusing attention to Christ. Hillcrest humbly continues this tradition with focus, vigor, and commitment, helping students understand the role prayer plays in the life of the believer.