J.D. graduated from Clapham School in 2018. He shares with us what he has been doing since then, what's next, and how the Lord used his years at Clapham to shape and prepare him.
- Where did you go to college & what are you doing now?
I just graduated from Cedarville University in Ohio. Through AFROTC at Cedarville, I commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force. I start flight school in August of 2022 and then complete my 10-year commitment to fly for the military.
- When did you begin attending Clapham School and when did you graduate? Tell us about your Senior Thesis.
I began at Clapham school in second grade around 2007 and graduated in 2018. I wrote my senior thesis on smartphones. It detailed the many negative effects and patterns that smartphones can have on our emotions, time, and relationships and how best to utilize them to glorify God.
- What are some life-lessons you learned at Clapham?
Probably the biggest two lessons I learned that have carried with me after college is the value of being a life-long learner and the importance of relationships for growth. Clapham taught me to not just observe a painting but to see beauty. Clapham taught me not just to appreciate a symphony for its sound, but to hear the complexities of life in the notes. Clapham taught me not just to “study hard” and “ace tests” but to know the value of education and understanding the beautiful world God has given us. The teachers at Clapham school mentored me and taught me not just as a student, but as a friend. It proved that growth happens through close, Christ-centered relationships where God’s truth is the authority, and His world is our playground.
- Share a favorite memory or a defining moment from your years at Clapham.
My favorite memories at Clapham school were the colloquiums in the upper school. We as students had 2 hours with coffee and donuts to try and answer a single question about life. Some of them were “what is beauty?”, or “what is happiness?”, or “what is friendship?”. They utilized Socratic dialogue to get us to wrestle with deep questions about life. Those discussions included enlightenment and laughter, but also a deepening in my faith. Never before was I forced to dive into my own thoughts and beliefs and utilize reasoning for taking a stand for what I believed. These colloquiums did for us students what I think few people ever are forced to do in their lifetime.
- Clapham’s vision statement says, “Clapham School equips young men and women to intentionally serve Christ by cultivating His goodness, truth, and beauty in the world.” How has this borne fruit in your life?
There is no doubt in my mind that Clapham, through God’s providence, gave me tools to navigate life past my education. It taught me the reward and blessing that comes from pursuing truth and beauty. I would not have been able to accomplish the things in college and in AFROTC had it not been for the leadership and faith development that Clapham gave me. I truly owe all that I know of what it means to be a truth-seeker and student to the teachers and mentors at Clapham school.
- What’s next for you? How are you planning to “intentionally serve Christ” with your work and life?
I am excited to serve Christ and my country through my commitment to the Air Force. This world needs Christ and I hope that the influence I have in the Air Force can help me glorify God and share His word with the people above, beside, and below me in leadership.
Thank you, J.D.! We pray the Lord will use you mightily in all that you do!