Meet Olha

April 16, 2024  •  Author: marketing

The Future, the Vision, and the Sea

The sea has attracted many writers and storytellers across the world. The old poets saw in the sea a way of discoveries, adventures, and facing the future toward the unknown.

The greatest tales put the sea as one of the main protagonists, such as Homer’s Odyssey or Luis de Camoes’s The Lusiads. The sea also inspired Thomas Carlyle’s most famous quote:

“A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder.”

In other words, Carlyle used the sea as a metaphor for the myriad of paths it can take us, but without a clear purpose, we may feel adrift and hopelessly lost to our thoughts.

Unfortunately, like a captain without a rudder, many students arrive on campus without a purpose for their lives. They are at a crucial moment where most of their decisions will permanently shape their future.

Our dear student from Olha, Ukraine, arrived on campus filled with expectations and hoping to find something to expand her mind about the future and herself.

Embracing the Unknown

Olha is a very special student of ours who came to our campus with at least one goal in mind: to craft a clear vision of who she is and what she wants to attain in her life. Before stepping on campus, all students are required to meet with our Academic Director, Iain Saunders. “Basically, what Iain told me,” says Olha, “is that Cumorah Academy would help me understand my life vision – and that’s totally true!”

Olha knew she would be embracing the unknown in the next three months on campus, studying, learning, and serving with others who likely sought the same thing: purpose. Aware that countless young people face this delicate challenge, our program contains several activities where our students can apply their natural skills and learn from others. Our curriculum is not solely focused on one area; we cover all aspects necessary for a successful life. Thus, we include academic activities as well as service projects, so our students return home committed to pursuing their educational and professional goals while engaging in serving others.

A Clear Vision

Many goal-setting specialists argue that having a goal in mind enables one to have a clear vision, refusing all that is not aligned with it. Connecting this with Olha’s story, she appreciated the tools provided on campus to develop her personal Life Vision: she engaged with mentors, participated in classes, studied the content, and acted faithfully.

“We had a lot of classes and tutoring sessions that advised us about building our life vision. They gave us many tools that enabled us to think about our lives, to discover who we are, and what actually works for us. We did that throughout the whole semester,” she joyfully says. In fact, she was determined to do her best on campus. After receiving counsel from her friends, she decided to take coding classes on campus. That decision forever changed her. “I want to keep studying this after the semester ends!”

Navigating the Future

First, we discussed how the sea has various meanings for poets and writers, illustrating the unknown and discoveries. Similarly, our dear students face at least two types of seas to join us: if they come from, for example, South America, they have to cross a sea to reach our campus. They must cross a physical barrier – and for some, it is their first time leaving their country.

The second (and likely the most important) sea is the unknown one. The one we cannot see but whose resistance pushes us hither and thither. When taking a leap of faith to cross the sea toward their dreams, our students might feel fear and anguish, afraid of the waves and whirlwinds. They feel like the disciples of old when facing a heavy storm. During this time of despair, they see a figure in the midst of the sea, bright as the sun. They think it is a ghost for a second; however, a voice softens and vanishes their fears:

“Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” (Mark 6:50) And He joins them, and the wind ceases, and they wonder beyond measure.

As the disciples learned that night, the only thing that can dispel the storms of our sea is the Savior Jesus Christ. We want all students to learn this valuable lesson.

We want all students navigating the challenging seas of life to feel hope as they find the light of the Savior on our campus and hear the celestial words that will soothe their anguish:

“Be of good cheer. It is I.”

Watch Olha’s testimony on her experience:

Written by Fernando L. Ferreira Junior.

Supervision by Kamila Uberto Fullmer.