CLASS OF 2010
WHere are they Now?
In 2014, Jessica Smith graduated from the University of Alabama. Now, she works as the Assistant Branch Manager at Enterprise Truck Rentals in Pensacola, Florida. Jessica is passionate about many things, including her dog and her career, but she is specifically focused on understanding herself and how she can serve others. She is learning these things and strengthening her relationship with the Lord through her ministry called Naturally Devoted, which is focused on teaching people of faith to love God and others, but also to recognize that as image-bearers, we are also called to love ourselves.
When asked to reflect on her relationship with the Lord, Jessica said that she is honored to be able to call the Lord her dear friend. She has seen throughout her life that even during times when she felt completely alone, in reality it is clear that God was there and that he was near. Now, she intentionally looks for His hand in every part of her life because she knows that she is nothing without his guidance and support.
To the class of 2020, she says, “remember your foundation from RA. People can advise you on anything, but your foundation is what you should always go back to. It’s like math; you can be the smartest mathematician in the world, but you still have to know how to add and subtract.”
Donovan Moore graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from Auburn University. He works at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama as a Senior Developer in Forestdale.
After years of hard work, Donovan is seeing the reward of his labor and is thankful that his faith has played an important role in his life and his family. “My walk with the Lord has helped me and my mother get through the hard times and appreciate the good. After the loss of a close loved one, I began doing nightly prayers with my mother and became more active in the church.” Donovan’s involvement in church has kept him connected with other believers and strengthened his relationship with God.
When asked what advice he would give the class of 2020, Donovan gave the same advice that he would have given his younger self. “Think about the one activity or hobby you most enjoy during your free time (like a sport, drawing, writing, dancing, cooking, etc.). If you have an idea of what that activity is, then pursue that for your career! If you don't know what you want to do in life yet, then that's okay! No matter what you do right after high school, whether that's college, military, trade school, or a job, always keep your dreams and goals with you.”
Lauren Smith Johnson
Lauren Smith Johnson graduated from Highlands College Ministry School with a focus in leadership and youth ministry. She is now the Ministry Assistant for Iron City Church in Birmingham, AL, and she is working hard to juggle being a wife, mom, and full time ministry worker. Many things have led Lauren to where she is, but she says that choosing to walk with Jesus has impacted her most.
She realized that her hope had to rest in something bigger than the things of this earth, and because of that she feels fulfilled in her career and family. "Deciding to walk with Jesus has given me love, community and a full life that no one can ever know without the supernatural peace and impact of the Holy Spirit.”
Lauren recognizes that the biblical teaching she received at RA has contributed to her spiritual growth and wants to encourage current students to be attentive to those who are in leadership positions. “Listen to your teachers and mentors! Enjoy this time as much as you possibly can because life will more than likely only get harder moving forward.” She hopes that students at RA will learn to use the tools that they are being equipped with now, both spiritually and practically, so that they can be more prepared to deal with whatever comes in the future. Lauren hopes that students will also be inspired by the words of her grandmother, who often tells her to “live it, love it, and make it beautiful.”