I Almost Didn’t — My Unexpected SSI Journey
My first year attending SSI was a unique one. In 2016 I was accepted into the Campaign Track, however, I was being forced to go. Prior to SSI, I had attended three years of government and political camps, so I thought SSI was going to be your typical summer camp. Man, was I wrong. I quickly became friends with others in Campaign; most of these friendships have lasted to this day. Attending SSI was lifechanging for me. I gained knowledge and wisdom, but most importantly I left with a better relationship with Christ.
I was so excited about how my life had changed, that I decided to begin the arduous task of the Ambassador League! I was challenged beyond what words can type. I enjoyed writing the reports and doing the research, however, it was a lot of work. I was in my senior year of high-school and neck deep in school and extra-curricular activities. Through it all, though, my life was impacted in many positive ways.
Being so busy with everything, I almost did not attend SSI this summer. I am so thankful I did. However, if you asked me during my experience of Moot Court, between tired, tear-stained eyes and sleep deprived speech, whether I was enjoying myself, I would have said I wanted to leave. I was tested in many different areas and stretched in others. Looking back, I am so thankful for that week and what the Lord taught me: even when people tear you and your beliefs apart, do not give up! Getting to present my case in the Supreme Court was unforgettable, and it made everything leading up to it worth it.
On the Friday of camp when I found out about the job opening at SSI, I thought about applying, but at the same time, I realized how young I was. I asked some friends what they thought of me applying for the job. Their responses were overwhelming. One friend in particular made me promise I would apply. I did. When I got the call asking whether I was interested in an interview, I was shocked! During my interview which included a few hours of training from Amanda, I became so overwhelmed that on my three-hour drive home I talked myself out of taking the job if I was offered it. However, God puts people in your voicemail at the exact time you need them, and when I was ultimately offered the job, although I almost passed out, I did not turn it down.
Over the past five weeks I have been challenged and encouraged. I am so thankful that God has led me here and am blessed by the people He has put in my path. The journey has been a whirl-wind of emotions and packing, but just as 2 Thessalonians 3:3 says, “the Lord is faithful.”
Joslyn Nelkie first attended SSI in 2016 and fell in love with the atmosphere and the people. She developed an interest in politics and political campaigns at the age of thirteen and continues to be involved in her not-so-free free time. Joslyn enjoys spending time with family and helping out on the family farm, and is blessed with 15 siblings through the foster care system.
Disclaimer: The views presented in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the position of the Student Statesmanship Institute. SSI is a non-profit educational organization and provides this blog as a platform for those who have been involved in our program to engage and share thoughts related to current events, issues of the day, and personal experiences, but does not necessarily endorse the content therein.