Former Heritage Christian girls basketball coach, Rick Risinger, knew he had something special in 2016 graduate Tyasha Harris. Harris, an immediate starter as a freshman, made an impact on the team from the beginning with her skill and team-first mentality. On April 17, Harris was selected by the Dallas Wings as the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2020 WNBA draft.
What's one way to see the legacy of a great Christian education? Watch what its alumni do. Here are just a few of the Heritage alumni who are making a difference in the world – and the Kingdom – today.
With only 38 seconds left in the nail-biting 2016 Monon Bell Classic game, thousands of DePauw University football fans leapt to their feet in excited anticipation. They held their collective breath as Tigers’ quarterback, Matt Hunt (HCS 2013), snapped a decisive, 13-yard pass to his younger brother, Andy (HCS 2015).
His visage has graced the cover of Time. He and other Ebola fighters were named the magazine's "Person of the Year." His story made the front page of USA Today and he has appeared in countless media outlets across the globe. He made history when he became the first person to be treated for Ebola Virus Disease in the United States.
These days, professional athlete and Heritage alumnae ('09) Kelly Faris plays for the Connecticut Sun WNBA team. But if you follow her basketball journey to its beginnings, you'll find the makings of her career in the school's gymnasium, where today her jersey is proudly displayed.
In 2013, Conor Daly's Heritage family celebrated his Indianapolis 500 debut. "It's something for me that has always been a dream of mine since going to school here," Daly told Fox 59. "I would always miss a couple of days just because I would be going out to the track. I'm excited about it."
Singer-songwriter Kelly Taylor's wisdom surpasses her 19 years. "Music is so much bigger than me," she says. "It can reach and relate to so many people and I have the privilege of creating something beautiful so that people can get a taste of His beauty." The Heritage alumnae ('13) and Belmont University student just released her latest project, an EP and video series titled "Nightfall." It's her second album since "Skin and Bones," which she released while she was 18 and a senior at HCS.
When the Terminator movie trilogy opened on the big screen in July 2015, Heritage alumnus Dayo Okeniyi ('05), played the role of Danny Dyson. However, it's not the first time you may have seen him in a major Hollywood film. You'll likely recognize Okeniyi from his industry debut as the District 11 tribute, Thresh, in the 2012 blockbuster, The Hunger Games. He's finding big success in chasing his life-long dream of a career in professional acting.
"At Heritage, I learned to be passionate and take chances," Logan Gay says. "I wouldn't be the person I am today without it." Gay, a 2011 graduate, now works as a news reporter for Lakeland Public Television, a Minnesota affiliate of PBS. The network's goals are to "educate, enrich, entertain, and enlighten"—and Gay fulfills them daily by preparing and covering stories for the six and ten o'clock news.
If you looked only at his career as an international professional basketball player and collegiate assistant coach; or at his awards and impressive statistics, you might be tempted to think that life for Heritage alumnus Todd Abernethy ('03) is all about basketball. Nothing could be further from the truth. "Being a Christian is an everyday thing," he says. "It changes everything I do."
To learn more about Heritage Alumni and what they're up to, visit our Alumni News page. If you would like to submit your own story to be featured on Heritage's website or social media, contact Derek Todd, Development Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.