“Going into college, I had so much confidence, [but] it was in me not in Him,” said Jehoon Park about his first days as a freshman at Penn State. Jehoon is a 2016 graduate of Hillcrest Academy who is currently studying industrial engineering in State College, PA . He felt that his three years in the dorms at Hillcrest prepared him for college life but found himself in awe of the sheer size of Penn State’s campus and student body. Going in, he was ready to make a difference.
“I wanted to be a positive influence on campus. However, this year God taught me a big lesson”
Jeehoon’s big lesson was humility. His wisdom and strength were not going to be enough to be An Influencer rather than The Influenced. Influence works both ways and it didn’t take Jeehoon long to realize it.
“As soon as I got there, it was pretty clear that I had to make some choices not to do different things. Also, even if I struggle with different things, I always knew where I could find my answers because of my faith.”
The first week of school, there was an Involvement Fair where students could connect with various clubs on campus and that’s where Jeehoon first heard of DCF--Disciplemakers Christian Fellowship.
“DCF helped me to realize how much I need Jesus and it is Jesus who makes the change not me. Because of Him, I can be a positive influence to others.”
This new group became a lifeline for Jeehoon as he immersed himself in their training and outreach. He became part of the marketing team--especially active through social media--and joined the worship team.
One thing that totally surprised Jeehoon about Penn State was how welcoming everyone was. He was completely caught off-guard by how open people were, and continue to be, with him. He was thankful for the training he’d had in his UTT (Understanding the Times) class at HLA when he encountered so much diversity stating that he felt equipped to listen and understand others’ differing points of view.
“One of the big [events] that we did this year was Easter Questionnaires. We went door to door at different dorms, hoping we might get to share the story of the Gospel and it was super encouraging,” Jehoon reported. “I think what students appreciated about the conversations we had with them was the hope that we have in Christ. People do lots of different things to find their values and significance at Penn State, so some people really appreciate how much hope we have in Christ and who we are in Christ. Muslims [we spoke with] were very intrigued by the different "God" we have…”
Jeehoon is pumped about what’s ahead. “Next year I will be leading Praise & Worship for Friday Large Group meetings on campus and a Bible study with some students and staff from DCF.”
His advice for new freshman going into college? “College is hard get used to. Be open to options. Find your Community. [You need a] group of friends that could be accountable [to one another.] Things might not go the way you want but remember it is God who is in control.”