Upper Columbia Academy Reopens in Person

More than 250 students arrived at the Upper Columbia Academy campus on Aug. 23, 2020, to register and begin the new school year. Many new students decided to enroll at UCA primarily because it was able to offer in-person classes. Some new students were unfamiliar with certain religious aspects of the Adventist faith but chose UCA because of its Christian principles, positive reputation and face-to-face instruction. The administration and staff feel strongly that our mission of helping young people develop a personal relationship with Christ is best facilitated when our students are on campus.

The first week of school highlighted a special week of prayer, led by our new church pastor, Kevin Wilfley. His presentations focused on making a personal connection with Jesus and following the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Wilfley’s stories drew the students in as he shared his testimony and life experiences.

Students commented on what they had missed during fourth quarter last school year when they had to be online. Juliana said, “Everything!”

Other students chimed in with challenges they faced. “There were too many distractions at home,” Luke offered.

“It was depressing,” Malayna admitted.

Motivation to complete assignments “dropped to zero,” said Renae.

Kelsey, a new student, says she is very glad to be here and students are friendly and introduce themselves. Her roommate is also new, which according to her helps in adjusting to a new school.

Cesar is from an Adventist family, but he has never attended an Adventist school before. He is excited to be with other students who believe as he believes.

Now back on campus, other students share what they valued. Having to end last school year doing distance learning “put into perspective how blessed we are here at UCA with the staff,” Lorelei shares. She really appreciates conversations with teachers — stopping by before class or visiting after classes.

Paul adds, “It is a lot better in person, with more interaction.”

UCA staff are really looking forward to this year and the challenges it brings. Yes, there have been some adjustments to life on campus, but the value of being with other students, friends, teachers and staff makes it all worthwhile. They are trusting God’s blessing and guidance as they pray for His protection.

God is truly leading through this new school year. The UCA family is excited to see the miracles He will perform.

Featured in: November/December 2020