Nikkie speaks about Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) with gratitude and a warm smile.
Reflecting on her life before she came to MCH four years ago, Nikkie is transparent about how she was making poor choices and feeling very unloved. At first she was angry that her grandparents – her primary caregivers – placed her at MCH. But now she says she can see it was out of love.
“I found love here at MCH,” she said. “I learned that staff love me and I learned to love myself. If they didn’t love me then why would they show up every day to help me? Who knows where I would be if I had not come to MCH.”
Nikkie is a senior at the MCH charter school and maintains an active schedule. She holds an off-campus job, cheers on the MCH cheer team, sings in the youth choir and is part of the praise dance team. Participating in choir and dance through the Spiritual Development program has been particularly meaningful to Nikkie.
“I accepted Christ at age 11 and would attend church alone,” she said. “When I came to MCH I had more opportunities to become involved in church and really grow in my faith. I have been on mission trips and feel I have grown closer to God.”
Staff who have worked with Nikkie say she is an example to other MCH youth.
Spiritual Development Minister Ron Britton said Nikkie “is in her element on mission trips. She is always one of the first to volunteer and has a way of connecting with the people we serve in meaningful ways.”
“I have seen Nikkie perfect her skills in cheer while becoming more responsible, hardworking, trustworthy, respectful, and kind,” said Kellie Bennett, afterschool coordinator and coach for the MCH cheer squad. “She is an ideal MCH cheerleader. She came into the program as a very shy girl and will leave as a confident young lady.” This fall Nikkie was selected to the MCH homecoming court.
Nikkie’s plans after graduating in May 2021 are to attend college and work toward a nursing degree, with a vision of one day working in a neonatal unit.
Nikkie said she tries to encourage her peers toward confidence and growth by telling them “no matter how hard it gets, keep looking forward and take advantage of what MCH has to offer.”
Reflecting on her time at MCH, Nikkie clearly sees how caring staff impacted her life and helped her realize her value and worth.
“I know I am a child of God,” she said. “My value is not in what others think of me. I am one of the kids that made it! I am graduating and will be an MCH alumna and that is something I am proud to say.”