New Student Frankie Young Makes a Seamless Transition to Heritage
Written by Lisa Abbott
It would be natural to think that intentionally transferring to Heritage from one of Indiana’s top-rated school districts during your junior year of high school might come with some understandable and inherent challenges. Not so, for one of Heritage’s newest students. Meet Frankie Young, a proud and recent addition to the Heritage class of 2018.
When Frankie’s mother, Angie Young-Oliver, presented the option of private school to her academically-oriented son in 2016, he embraced the opportunity and joined his mom in the search for the best fit. “I made the decision to step out of my comfort zone by enrolling in a school that would allow me to grow in my faith, as well as prepare me to be a successful college student,” says Frankie. After researching and visiting a few possible schools in the Indianapolis area, the Youngs made plans to attend a Heritage all-school open house.
HCS Student, Frankie Young, with mother, Angie Young-Oliver
Their positive first experience made a big impression on both of them–in everything from the catered meal by Chik-Fil-A to the tour of the campus. But their one-on-one personal encounters that evening, with Heritage students, teachers, administrators and coaches, touched them most. “Everyone was so accessible,” says Angie. “They were super nice and so caring.”
They left campus that evening with a growing sense that Heritage might be the place where God was leading them. They decided to move forward. Embarking on the application process became another touchpoint with the school, as they connected with the admissions team. “They were very responsive and made it easy,” explains Angie. “They exemplified the qualities we were looking for.”
After fulfilling all of the requirements, Frankie was accepted for admission to Heritage for the fall of 2016. “I’m so glad I made this decision. It has been a smooth transition,” he says. “We’ve never looked back,” agrees Angie. “He hasn’t missed a beat.”
In fact, she says, her son is thriving in his new setting and his adjustments have been minimal. From the very first day of classes, Frankie says his fellow students welcomed him and invited him to join them in their activities, during and after school. He’s developing friendships in the classrooms and hallways and also on the basketball court, as a member of the varsity team. The instant comaraderie, says Angie, has “made a world of difference” for her son.
Frankie says he immediately appreciated and enjoyed the smaller classes and his teachers’ accessibility; both of which were a big change from his previous experience at a much larger school. “With every one of my teachers, you know they’re there to help you out,” shares Frankie. “They want to know about you and form a relationship. You’re not just by yourself here. You have the support of a group of teachers who are rooting for you.” Angie, too, sees tremendous value in her son’s teachers, who she says impress her as “individuals who want to do God’s work and see kids flourish.”
You’re not just by yourself here. You have the support of a group of teachers who are rooting for you.
If there has been any measure of adjustment, Frankie says it has been in the more challenging academic environment he has found at Heritage. But, he says he appreciates it and is up for the task. “It’s definitely a harder school, but it helps you to get ready for college. I want to take the challenge to be the best I can be.” Angie says his grades are better than ever and he’s had his best academic semester yet. But what excites her even more is the positive feedback from Frankie’s teachers about his level of involvement in class discussion and his engagement with the subject matter.
One of those subjects is Bible class, which is a new experience, academically and spiritually, for the former public school student. He is loving it. “It’s helping to build my understanding about the Bible and my faith that much more,” he says. “Everything is getting answered. Learning more about what the Bible says makes me really think about what I do, and about wanting to make right decisions.”
Frankie says he’s growing spiritually from his experience on the basketball team as well. “Our coach pushes us to be the best we can be, both on and off the court,” he explains. Through the team’s weekly devotional time, he says he’s gaining a bigger perspective on his faith and life.
He’s also seizing opportunities to live out his faith on campus by serving as an after-school mentor for a fourth-grader. Each week, they get together to work on homework, play games and build their relationship. Frankie shares devotions with his young mentee and answers his questions about the Bible. “It’s something I love to do,” shares Frankie. “I know what it’s like to have somebody to look up to.” In whatever remaining spare time he possesses beyond school activities, Frankie has also invested in his leadership skills by completing a program through the Center for Leadership Development program.
HCS Student Frankie Young serves as an after-school mentor for a 4th grade student
“I’ve been challenged spiritually, socially and academically at Heritage,” he concludes. “Based on my experience, I feel I will have many options when it is time to decide which college I should attend.” He has his sights set on a future career in marketing and business and will start investigating colleges in earnest next year. In the meantime, he’s making the very most of his Heritage experience. “He takes it seriously,” says Angie. “He realizes that we’re blessed to be able to make this investment in him and his future.” Of his decision to transfer to Heritage this year, Frankie says, “I’m confident that I made the right choice.”