by Michaela Parker
As a student living in the area, I experienced French Camp Academy differently than people who live in the homes. FCA may have been the place where I attended high school, but it was so much more than that. I received a great education, but more importantly, I was cared for, loved, encouraged, and pointed to Christ.
I graduated in 2013 with a grand total of 28 classmates. Having such a small class was so much fun because I was able to know and befriend everyone in my class. I loved the small school scene and decided to further my education at Mississippi College. I graduated in 2016 with a degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations and journalism.
In high school, I was the girl everyone tried their hardest to avoid. Why? Because I was on the yearbook staff. I constantly carried my camera with me to events and school hoping to get that perfect picture. I served on staff for all four years. Most of my time after school was spent at WFCA Radio where I worked all four years of high school. That opportunity was one like none other, and sitting behind a microphone is where I discovered my love for communications.
Mission trips were a big part of my high school experience. FCA is unique in that it gives students the opportunity to participate in mission trips to Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wales. For three consecutive years, I served on mission teams to Fort Worth, Texas and Wales. Most young people are not given the opportunity to serve on a mission team until college. Because I had that opportunity while in high school, it helped me build my foundation on Christ and gave me a heart for the lost during my teenage years.
I will always value the staff members at FCA. During my four years in high school, I developed so many relationships that are still in my life today. They were influential figures to me as a teenager, and now as a young adult, they are great friends to me. I felt comfortable enough to discuss different challenges I was facing, and I expected to receive wisdom in return – which I always did. Even now, I know that I can go to them with anything and they will help me in the blink of an eye.
The love, encouragement, and support that was so graciously bestowed upon me while at FCA was very beneficial in my life. The Lord used so many staff members to show me what a young, Christ-like lady should look like. For my entire high school career, I was prayed for and invested in. Even though I did not live on campus, they still took the time to invest in students like myself. I can’t properly express my gratitude to them for being some of the most intentional and genuine people I’ve ever met.
The one thing that I love and value the most about FCA is the commitment to giving students a solid foundation built on Biblical principles. The Lord’s teachings are interwoven in the lessons taught in the classroom. Each year, I took a different academic class that was built around the Christ’s teachings and principles. Two of my favorite courses were Christian Family Living and Christian Worldview, both which I took during my senior year. The information that I learned in those classes I still apply to my life today. Defending my faith and recognizing healthy, Christ-centered relationships were two things that I had to deal with while in college, and FCA helped me with both of those.
FCA is not like any other place I’ve ever experienced. I’ve seen so many people be changed for the better, I being one of them. The love that I have for FCA has only grown as the years have gone by. Even though my time as a student has come and gone, I am still a part of FCA through frequent visits, and most importantly, through prayer.
The Lord has tremendously blessed this ministry and the young people who come into FCA’s care, and I am confident that His faithfulness will be evident in the years to come.
They say that French Camp Academy is “One Fine Place.” Well, they say that because it’s true. A place as special as this can only come straight from the Lord, which in my books, makes FCA one fine place.