Finding a New Home:
Student Spotlight – Cherish Thompson

>Student Profile:
>>Cherish Thompson
>>Christian Counseling
>>Lugoff, SC
>>Fayetteville Campus
>Dream Job:
>>High School Guidance Counselor
>Favorite Ice Cream:
>>Coffee or Cookies & Cream

Cherish Thompson is a Freshman in the Bachelor of Arts in Christian Counseling program at GCD. At 18, she moved states to become an on-campus GCD student at our Fayetteville, North Carolina campus, and is thriving in school and ministry.

Hailing from Lugoff, South Carolina, Cherish attended GraceLife Church in Columbia, South Carolina, where she met GCD students from theExperience College Internship.

“…the interns from theExperience came to our church. For the longest time, I didn’t want to be an intern, I wanted to go to a secular college in South Carolina.”

Cherish originally planned to attend a private secular college closer to home, but when theExperience College Internship visited GraceLife Church, and Cherish found herself connected to a GCD Christian Counseling student and Counseling Intern, her interest in GCD sparked.

After expressing interest in GCD, everything moved quickly for Cherish. By the end of the summer she moved to Fayetteville and was preparing to start with GCD and theExperience.

“I had to grow up. I was moving to Fayetteville, three hours from home. I was so sheltered, my biggest fear was coming up here and finding that family-type love. I was praying “God, send me a family, then I came here and I got a whole village!’”

Cherish found community among her fellow students, and has enjoyed a mentoring relationships with GCD’s Registrar, Nakiya Smith, and with Christian Counseling professor Patrice Parkinson. “I know that I can go to her [Nakiya], and she’ll give me the honest truth with school and with life. It’s so nice to move to a different state and know that you have a different family there that loves you and supports you.”

So what’s next for Cherish?

“I want to finish my Christian Counseling Degree, but I also want to start working towards being a guidance counselor. I feel led to finish my whole degree.” TheExperience College Internship allows students to take a one or two-year college internship, and to earn college credit along the way. Many of our interns go on to Bachelor’s Degrees across GCD’s five Undergraduate Majors.

“Fayetteville is home now”

What has been helpful for your transitioning to a new city, moving away from home, and starting college?

“The one-on-one interactions with my professors. I haven’t been scared to ask questions or work with my professors. The smallness of classes has helped me not be prideful and to ask questions. Tutoring and the College Writing Lab with Dr. India Hall have also been really helpful.”

Advice for someone who is where you were a year ago:

“Ask God first. Sit down and ask Him, don’t just make up with your own mind. I know a lot of seniors who say: ‘I want to do this, this is where I want to go.’ Take a good month and just pray about it. I know a lot of college freshmen who dropped out because they didn’t know what they wanted to do and just rushed into it. We feel like we have to rush into life after high school, but we should take a week or a month in prayer to see where we’re supposed to go next.”