This summer, returning Regent students had 113 days of summer vacation. Here is just a snapshot of their experiences.
Touring the U.S. with Christ in Youth
For the second summer in a row, Michael Beam (CAS’ 23) had the opportunity to work as a video director for Christ in Youth (CIY) on one of their summer youth tours. In this role, he traveled to nine different states to help with week-long camps where CIY sought to point kids to Christ through engaging teaching, games and mentorships.
“I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to travel and share Christ with kids all over the nation,” he shared. As the video director, Beam oversaw all the video equipment, programming and operations required for the camp’s events. Beyond paid travel and evangelism, Beam noted that he also “loved seeing how all the behind-the-scenes tech operations play an important role in drawing kids to Christ.”
One of his most impactful moments from the summer was when a kid attending the camp was taken to the hospital. While receiving care, the kid was continually worried about how his low-income family would pay for the stay. In response, the camp took up a collection and paid a huge part of the bill. “It was really neat to see the body come together and help in such a tangible way, and that’s really what the camps are all about: showing kids Christ’s love.”
Interning with Samaritan’s Purse
In the lush, developing country of Cambodia, Emily Polson (CAS ‘23) spent nearly two months interning with the evangelical Christian humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse. “I loved it so much. I’ve truly savored this experience,” reflected Polson. After making the journey in early June, she served with their Program Support Unit (PSU) as an Information Officer intern where one of her jobs was writing and editing the success stories of their projects occurring around the nation. “It was like watching a highlight reel of some of the cool things the Lord is doing in the country,” she remarked.
Polson also experienced the complexity of their work. “The challenges in the country are multifaceted. For example, so many things can hinder kids who are trying to learn. Some lack school resources—books, tables, chairs, a building. Others fall behind when they miss class because they’ve crossed the border with their migrant worker parents. Others drop out because they need to work to help their families.” She emphasized the opportunities Samaritan’s Purse has to help these students. “The organization responds to these needs by doing things like building schools, training teachers and supporting families through livelihood projects.”
She noted that watching the local staff have such a great impact has also bolstered her passion for evangelism. “I am returning to a country where I speak the language, know the context and have every opportunity to shamelessly share the gospel.”
Working for Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears
Since May, Katelyn Condrey (CAS ‘23) has spent her weeks interning with Virginia’s lieutenant governor, Winsome Earle-Sears, and learning all about the world of political communications firsthand. “It’s incredible how much you learn on the job,” she stated.
A huge part of her role was monitoring the news. Every day, she compiled all the local and national news of interest and emailed it out to the office. She also assisted with social media, completed data entry for the office and attended official events to capture pictures, videos and forge connections.
“It’s been interesting to get a peek behind the curtain and watch politics happen,” she shared. “I got to watch a Virginia Senate session and witness the senators vote on bills; that was a unique experience.” She has also enjoyed seeing the bipartisan support for good things that people agree on. “In this job, I’ve seen many of the good things about politics that inspire people to pursue this career as opposed to all the negative aspects that the media can portray.”
Playing Jazz in Virginia Restaurants
An incoming freshman this year, Parker Biswell (CAS ‘26) has already been busy making a difference in the community through his music. All this summer, he played two-hour sets three nights a week in restaurants around Virginia. “I love getting to impact the atmosphere and inspire kids,” he shared. “In this new generation, nobody really talks about band instruments. It’s incredible when kids can come and see the saxophone as an instrument that can be used not just in a middle school band room but in life.”
In every opportunity that has arisen, Biswell recognizes God’s hand. “None of this would have been possible without Him,” he stated. “When you put your faith in God and work for His glory, He shows out. Trust Him, and do not be discouraged because of your youth” (1 Tim. 4:12). “From dealing with business owners and established professionals, I’ve learned to just trust God, go in there, dress the part and give it 150%.”
Working on Youngkin’s Commission
This May, Tyller Holden (CAS ‘24) was appointed to Youngkin’s Commission on Human Trafficking Prevention and Survivor Support, established in January 2022. As the Commission’s youngest member, her goal is to help establish preventative education in every school system throughout Virginia. Holden shared that the target demographic for trafficking victims is children ages 10-14, so education on this topic in school systems is crucial.
As a member of the Commission, she attended monthly meetings in Richmond where the members discussed how to meet Youngkin’s three goals to fight human trafficking: increase enforcement, survivor support and preventative education. Regarding the third goal, Holden shared that one of their biggest wins so far was passing legislation in April that requires hotels to have employee training every two years. “This is a huge step because it paves the way for future legislation to pass,” she relayed. “Training hotel employees on what to look for and do when situations arise will greatly assist in this fight as trafficking often occurs in hotels.”
Holden can’t emphasize enough the importance of educating people on this horrific issue. “If you know the signs, you can contact help. But it often goes unnoticed, and there’s nothing done because people don’t recognize it; it’s hidden in plain sight.” She is excited to continue fighting human trafficking this semester alongside the Commission.
Traveling in the U.S.
My own summer has been a whirlwind journey of sightseeing around the U.S. as I have traveled to over 15 states. From the Everglades of Florida to the rugged red rock of Moab, Utah, it has been such a privilege to survey God’s unique works. I am constantly in awe of His variety and style.
5 Personal Lessons from Summer:
1. When skiing the Rockies in May, wear sunscreen on your hands. Just because the frigid temperatures have died down doesn’t mean the UV rays have.
2. When hot air ballooning, make your first layer a t-shirt. Though it’s cold outside, the balloon is kept inflated by a fire right above your head. Needless to say, it is a very, very warm experience.
3. When sightseeing bison in Kansas on a lone trail, maintain distance when taking pictures. My “Oh it’s fine; let’s keep going” line freaked both my mom and sister out when the bison started looking pointedly at us from only 30 yards away.
4. When climbing a steep cliff in front of a Delicate Arch, consider doing it at a time other than sunset when no less than 50+ people are around to watch in passing.
5. When OHVing, keep all four wheels firmly on the ground. Otherwise, you’ll flip.
Summer is a unique time to see students participating in a range of activities. Email to share your own summer adventure stories with us!