Tenth Partner Highlight: The City School

by David Apple December 16, 2013

Tenth supported a city partner, The City School, through our 2013 Thanksgiving offering. Formerly known as Spruce Hill Christian School/City Center Academy, The City School provides many students with need-based scholarships.

Current student Jaime Chau writes about her experiences at The City School. While her mom was in Vietnam attending her grandfather’s funeral and ministering to persecuted Christians in nearby villages, Jaime took on the responsibilities of running their home, caring for her younger sisters, cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. She was also worried sick about her mom’s safety. Exhausted all the time, her grades began to suffer. Here are Jamie’s words about how her teachers and school ministered to her during this time.

One day I ran into Mr. Sorge—he’s the principal now, but back then he was my science teacher—on my way to school. It was around 10:00 AM, so he must have been grabbing a snack from the market during his free period. I was just arriving for class, late again! Instead of getting angry or punishing me, Mr. Sorge took me aside. He said, “Jamie, we’re going to get through this together. What can we do to help you?”

From that day on, my whole school community did so much to take care of me and my sisters. My teachers prayed with me, they cooked meals for us, they provided afterschool tutoring and showed me grace when I was distracted or inattentive in class. They even gave me permission to sell snacks at school so I could raise money to send to my mom in Vietnam. (I raised a couple hundred dollars, which my mom disbursed among the poor in her churches.)

That year I learned there is more to being a teacher than knowing the subject matter. Teachers inspire us to love learning, and they help us find our passions. They help us cultivate the gifts God gave us. They take care of us, in and out of the classroom. They cry when we cry, rejoice when we rejoice, and worship when we worship. There’s a quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. (Mr. Brandon tells me there’s no reliable source for this quote, but it rings true whoever said it!) “Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words.” This is what my teachers did for me that year: they preached the Gospel to me through their actions.

Because my teachers were there for me when I needed them the most, I have decided I want to be a teacher too. I want to love and serve people like I have been loved and served at The City School. Our mission statement is, “To train students’ minds, disciple their hearts, and bring light to the city—one child at a time.” That’s what my teachers do every day, and I want to do that, too. I want to take what I’ve learned at The City School and bring that same joy and comfort to others who need it like I did. 

My sisters and I can only attend this school because of the scholarships we receive. We receive aid based on our financial needs, and I also work really hard to receive merit scholarships. I want to thank everyone who donates money to these scholarships. Because of your kindness, I am able to go to a school where the gospel is preached in words and actions. Even during the hardest year of my life, I was comforted and cared for by the people who work here. Thank you for investing in my school and my life.


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