“Let no one despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” -1 Timothy 4:12
Contrary to the popular saying, youth is not wasted on the young.
In the spring of 2013, FCA leaders at Scullen Middle School shared their legacy in the likes of a video emulating the popular I Am Second ministry series.
Today, as high school sophomores, they still look upon their middle school years as a season of growth and cultivation, impacted through their former school’s FCA.
The Huddle used the popular I Am Second videos as small group discussions and found coinciding Scripture and devotionals as tools for further guidance. The weekly meetings encouraged students to live a real and honest faith, creating a safe spot to share struggles and dig deeper with one another.
“In a place like school where you don’t really get to express your opinions, we felt like everyone wasn’t afraid to show what really mattered and how much God impacted their lives,” Callie Vitro, one of Scullen’s Huddle leaders, said.
Vitro and fellow leader Rachel Ingal wanted to do something at the end of the year to show appreciation to the ministry that moved their faith.
“Rachel and I had been talking about the I Am Second videos being such a big part of our Huddles. We thought that if we made one, it would be a final thing to show how much FCA had done for us this past year,” said Vitro.
The leaders gathered together and spent two days filming their own rendition. Vitro, the videographer, had no set script and instead pursued a natural interview with the leader on camera sitting in the “hot seat.”
“It was just really fun to film,” Vitro said. “It was one of those things where we didn’t plan what we were going to say, just let the camera roll and then talked to each other.”
Aimed as their own testimony of sorts, the leaders showcased the impact of Jesus in athletics and their lives. It was shown at one of their last Huddles in the spring of 2013.
“We just wanted to share our story,” Ingal said.
Joining FCA in seventh grade, Ingal and Vitro quickly found their niche and desired to be leaders the following year. They went to a leadership training in the summer, surrounded by high school and college-aged students.
“We were very intimidated and felt tiny and inexperienced,” Ingal admitted. “But everyone was so accepting and genuine; they wanted you to grow in your faith. We got advice from older kids, and it was great to be surrounded by the love of Christ.”
Their newfound growth paved the way for close connection with peers.
“I felt so open, I felt like I was able to be myself and really got something out of it,” revealed Vitro. “Every day I went home and went to sleep at night, I just felt so full. Full of happiness. I was so joyful that I would share what I wanted and wouldn’t get judged for it.”
Though their class split up between high schools and Ingal now lives in Ohio, the leaders still keep in touch, and some actually go back and help at Scullen’s Huddle on Friday evenings.
“It’s really exciting to go back and realize that was me a couple years ago,” Vitro said. “There are definitely other things they could be doing on a Friday night, and just to see them excited to be there and getting their friends to come- it’s really fulfilling.”
As for the video, Vitro and Ingal hope viewers realize that age doesn’t necessitate who they are in God’s eyes.
“I feel like I want people to watch the video and get excited about the fact that if a little thing is created or done, kids have that power to take it to a whole other level,” Vitro expressed. “There are so many young kids out there, so many teens who are willing and want this message of God and want to spread the good news to everyone.”
Ingal points to truth that takes some adult leaders years to realize: “It’s ok to show your flaws. It’s ok to have questions. It’s ok to not know answers. Someone does. You can be real and honest and still be learning.”
*The eighth grade leaders in the video are: Brian Phillips; Rachel Ingal; Callie Vitro; Justin Mullinax; Hanna Hunt; Maria Campbell. Josh Kolzow was not in the video but part of leadership.