By Amy Robertson
He came to Caronport with his family from Green Bay, Wis., four years ago. When he was in the 9th grade, he says, he found grade 12 students terrifying. So old. So established. So ... mature.
So when Steve Johnson, a grade 12 student who was Caronport High School's student body president at the time, came up to him one day and asked how he was doing, Nathan was floored. He could hardly believe that an older student cared that much about him.
He was also inspired. If I can impact someone's life that much, I want to do that so badly, he thought. So he made a decision. He would walk in Steve's shoes.
The following year, he served as the grade 10 representative on Caronport High School's Student Leadership Committee. The following year, he served as vice-president, heading up the worship ministry in high school chapel. This year, he's leading the SLC and the student body as president. He helps with student chapels, occasionally leads worship, and encourages and serves people whenever he can.
"I love the high school so much," he says.
Nathan was part of the team that came up with this year's theme, Stand Firm, which is based on 1 Corinthians 15:58. He wants nothing more than to see his classmates stand firm on their beliefs and on Christ, he says.
As president, he has the benefit of seeing it happen before his eyes.
He smiles as he talks about what he's seeing in this year's student body. Last year, the SLC noticed that high school students need more opportunities to serve within the community, so they implemented school service projects. He thinks the effect this has had on students is amazing—he's seeing more students step up to serve others. They're also asking important questions about faith, and instead of sleeping in, they're looking forward to chapel.
He's also seeing growth within the SLC. In past years, the SLC has spent most of their time planning events. This year, they're learning to lead. For example, he says, they're taking ownership of the student code, encouraging students to follow the rules. Nathan knows from experience that students are more likely to listen to their peers than a teacher, so it's important for him and his team to set an example.
Nathan is also seeing growth in himself, confessing that he has a tendency to take matters into his own hands—to sort of "help God out," he says. He's slowly learning to seek God first—to pray about things he's struggling with and to stand back and let God work.
There's one thought, Nathan says, he keeps coming back to: More of him, less of me. "The more of him ... and the less of me, the better!" he exclaims.
"The more I give and forget about myself, the more blessed I am. The more I pour out, the more room there is to be poured into."
Nathan plans to attend Briercrest College and Seminary this fall.