Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Jaslyn and Ms Kelly Kelly participate in Lake Nelson Academy's Partrership for Eternity

Lake Nelson Adventist Academy Eighth-Grader ‘Partners for Eternity’ With Neighbor

Story by Jaslyn Valverde

For the last couple of years, I’ve been participating in Partnership for Eternity. Since 2006, this program has been helping cultivate relationships between mentors and students at Seventh-day Adventist academies and elementary schools. The goal of the program is for students and mentors to create relationships and experience the blessing of service together. It has also been created to help retired individuals connect more with youth by build- ing relationships and learning from each other.

My neighbor Kelly Jaggard recently moved into the area. When she arrived, my family and I went over to introduce ourselves. We didn’t expect anything in return. But sure enough, Jaggard came over to our house one day and gave us a flower box made of paper. Inside there was chocolate and a card, thanking us for making her feel welcome to the neighborhood. It was such a sweet gesture. My family and I later visited her again to express our gratitude.

When I first spent time with Jaggard through the Partnership for Eternity program, I instantly learned she was a very pleasant and friendly person. We quickly connected by regularly spending time together. She is wonderful and affable, always wanting to help. She also loves decorating and crafting. In fact, she decorates her home according to the holiday of the year. She has, what she calls, a “holiday tree.” It is really endearing!

Jaggard and her husband, Rob, always make me laugh and give me good advice. We get to talk about our families, books, holidays, school and much more. Over the past six months, we have had the opportunity to do many things together, including exchanging gifts, cooking and baking cookies, cake, cupcakes and even pizza. The two of us have also made birthday presents for individuals by designing T-shirts and cards. We even made donation bags

to help those experiencing homelessness and the underprivileged. I enjoy the activities we do!

I have quite a busy schedule as it is, so going to the Jaggard's home once a week has made me take a break from everything and simply relax. I can unwind, focus and be truly present. I am thankful that I took the opportunity to be a part of this pro- gram. It has enhanced both of our lives.

I encourage my peers to join this program. It is wise to take time with those who are older and more experienced than us. They are there to listen and share wisdom after a long day. And we are there to offer purpose, companionship and kindness to them.

Add new comment