Young Life to start meeting again next week


Pictures submitted by Sophia Robinson

Junior Mardi McCollum faces off in a game of triva meeting.

Sophia Robinson, Contributing writer

Young Life is an organization that helps high school students grow or start their religious faith. Meetings will take place every Monday at 7:59 p.m. at Austin Christian Fellowship, and the first meeting of the year will be Jan. 27. It is welcome to any high school student in the Four Points area.   

“We love spending time with our high school friends and creating relationships that last far beyond four years of high school,” head leader Marissa Ruiz said. “A goal for Young Life in the Four Points area is that it would be a place that everyone, no matter race, gender, sexuality or religion, would feel welcomed into.”

Young Life is a program with chapters all over the county, one being for Vandegrift. Each program has college student leaders who run the activities for their club. Vandegrift’s leaders are all UT students. 

“There are several leaders per grade and we create personal relationships with students by showing up and spending time getting to know students at Vandegrift,” Ruiz said. “You will see Young Life leaders at the front of the school passing out donuts, in the lunchroom, on the sidelines of the Friday night football game and in the crowd at a band concert. We love showing up in the lives of our high school friends.”

Young Life sponsors many different events for students to get involved in. They hold weekly club meetings, which is a time where leaders and students come together to play games and learn about Christianity. 

“The best way I know to describe Young Life club is organized chaos,” Ruiz said. “It is truly something you have to experience for yourself.”

They also sponsor week-long summer camps and weekend getaways to help strengthen the relationships in their community. 

“It’s a place to grow in your faith with people you love, and a place where you can strengthen old relationships while creating new ones,” leader Linda Duraj said. “Young Life’s goals are to provide friendships to high school students from all backgrounds, interests and grades and to make everyone feel welcome and known.”

Vandegrift Young Life has grown in the past year as leaders and students have advertised the program in their community. 

“I hope that years from now there is a culture of Young Life at Vandegrift High School,” Ruiz said. “I would love to watch it grow into something that everyone knows about and feels invited into.”