J.D. Parker was part of the first class of Clapham's Upper School to attend all four years. He is currently attending Cedarville University, where he is a Junior. We caught up with J.D. to find out how his time at Clapham School helped shape him for his future.
Where do you find yourself now?
I am a Junior at Cedarville University. I am majoring in International Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies and a minor in Bible.
What are some ways that your time at Clapham School helped prepare you for college?
Using critical thinking and engaging with books on a different level puts you lengths ahead of other students in your acquisition of class material and the concepts professors are trying to get you to learn.
Writing is becoming a lost skill. The writing standards that the Clapham teachers held us to made writing in college so much easier. It will set you apart from your peers in college and enable you to write quickly and appropriately. Mrs. Bramsen specifically had the most significant impact on my writing.
Name one thing you really enjoyed from the unique educational experience at Clapham School?
I enjoyed how close I became to the teachers and the personal and intentional relationship we shared. I have not met anyone in college who has experienced these mentor-teachers at school.
Do you have a favorite memory of a moment of learning, or connection with a teacher, book, or subject that you can share?
Reading the Scarlet Letter in 11th grade with Mr. Barney was a formative experience in understanding the relationship between sin, forgiveness, and repentance. During that month, the discussions that we had on Scripture and the Scarlet Letter text encouraged and challenged me spiritually.
Can you share some plans or ideas on how you intend to serve Christ with your life and work?
Currently, I am contracted with the Air Force to graduate college and commission as a 2nd Lieutenant Officer. I plan to be a gospel light in the military, to serve my country, and, hopefully, to go on to graduate school.
Did you form any lifelong friendships at Clapham?
My lifelong friendships at Clapham definitely are the teachers. Jason Barney and Kolby Atchison will be lifelong friends; words cannot describe their impact on my spiritual and academic formation.
What advice would you give to your high school self?
The advice I would give to my high school self is this: do not care what others think about you! In this world where the opinion of the masses holds so much sway, and often the fear of others led me to do or say things that I regret, I would tell myself, “Do not care what others think of you, and live for an audience of One.”
What advice would you give to current high school students at Clapham?
The harder you work in high school, the easier college academics will be. I don't mean only in knowledge and understanding but in your work ethic. When you learn to push yourself in high school; write one more paragraph; do ten more math problems when you are tired; it's late at night, and all of your other friends are out spending time together, but you choose to stay in because you have an early class—this dedication to excellence will better prepare you to study hard and make the right sacrifices in college.
J.D. has made a lasting impression on his fellow students and the teachers at Clapham. We are thrilled that he gets to live out his dream to serve our country and we will be watching his career with interest.