From the desk of Ginger Bell, Director of Family and Alumni Relations:
Almost 11 years after arriving at Brook Hill, Karina Redfern graduated. I caught up with her recently and asked how her years helped prepare her for life after BH.
First, let me share Karina is an upcoming junior at Samford University, but is actually in an accelerated program which means she is starting her last year of undergraduate work. Taking the accelerated program doesn’t weigh her down, though. She still finds time to work two jobs and chairs committees in her sorority! She is a shining example of how Brook Hill not only prepares its students academically but in so many other areas too.
Karina’s time in the Upper School was especially meaningful for her. The support and encouragement she was given helped her to leave confidently to pursue the next phase of her life. She learned about the importance of listening and the impact it can have on others’ lives. She cited former Humanities teacher, Mrs. Huggins, as having taught her that lesson.
“She was a great teacher, yes.” Redfern said. “She helped me when I didn’t understand but she taught me so many other important life things. Anytime I needed someone just to listen she would, without a doubt. Whenever I did need advice, she knew exactly what to say.”
Janda Gragg, in the Academic Office also had a great influence in Karina’s life.
“She is such a big encourager, and that really encouraged me,” Redfern said. “She taught me many lessons, as well. For one, she taught me to let things go that don’t really matter. I used to get so worked up about little things, but she would always encourage me and tell me that it’s all okay and it will work out. Brook Hill is a special place where every single teacher and staff care about you, like genuinely. They don’t care for you because it’s their job or because they have to. It’s because they want to.”
For parents, Karina shares, “Put your kids in dual credit!! I don’t know how much I can say that. I understand that not all credits are accepted credit for credit at every university, but most universities take TJC credits because it is so well-respected. It might cost some money in high school but it costs much more in college. If you can get a lot of your freshman classes out of the way, do it! Some college professors don’t care near as much as Brook Hill teachers do! It’s not necessarily easy, but it is way better at BH!”
And her wise words for students: “Love on your parents. Especially when you’re a senior. You’re parents might get clingy but that’s just cause they are preparing themselves for you to leave!! I know you are thrilled to go to college!! Who isn’t?? But your parents are your number one supporters!!”
Additionally, Karina encourages students to get involved when they finally get to college. She shares it took her a while to do so, but it made a huge difference for her once she did. She reached out, and thus has a large number of friends to go through college with.
Her final advice is profound. “Lastly, find a church YOU love, not the one that every one of your friends is going to!! Freshman year I visited a ton of churches before I found the one I like and feel comfortable in!! It’s okay not to love the church all your friends are going to, it’s okay!! Just remember, it’s your faith, not your friends.”