My Weekend with 135 Christian Science Teens — and a Very Special Award!

From the Desk of Alan Bashor, CEO, The Albert Baker Fund

Can you imagine spending an entire weekend in the mountains with about 135 amazing Christian Science teens?  I can tell you first-hand–there’s nothing like it!

I recently returned from Colorado where I attended the graduation and annual gathering of teens enrolled in DiscoveryBound’s National Leadership Council (NLC), a rigorous 4-year leadership program for Christian Science teens in high school.

Shane Hicks acceptance

Shane Witters accepting the Kevin Watters Award for Spiritual Integrity

I met so many outstanding young people who are dedicated to serving others and growing in Christian Science.  If these teens are the future foundation of the Christian Science Movement, then we are on solid ground!

A highlight of the graduation ceremony was announcing the very first recipient of the Kevin Watters Award for Spiritual Integrity. Kevin was a beloved member of The Albert Baker Fund Board, from 2008 until his passing in 2011. He knew many of the teens in the 2013 graduating class and shared “mountain-top” experiences with them—both at the Adventure Unlimited (A/U) ranches and while on service projects in Peru.

The award  honors Kevin and also recognizes an outstanding graduating teen, who, like Kevin, “inspires and lives a deep sense of spirituality, as well as honesty, unselfishness, love and fearlessness,” according to Gina Lindquist, A/U’s executive director. You can watch her presentation here. (The video is a little shaky, but the message is heartfelt.)

As someone who worked closely with Kevin and witnessed his desire to support young Christian Scientists, it’s awe-inspiring to see how his deeply spiritual qualities are continuing to be seen and felt by the students he touched.

I am pleased to share that the first recipient of the Kevin Watters Award for Spiritual Integrity is Shane Witters Hicks, of Golden, Colorado, who was overwhelmingly nominated by his peers. In her introduction, Gina described Shane as “humble, calm, giving, kind, a quiet leader, who is consistent in word and action. He is deeply respected and loved.  He’s a son, a brother, a drummer, and a runner, and he is the embodiment of modeling the way. He possesses an incredible amount of spiritual integrity and is a selfless leader.”

Hear Shane share some of the colorful “lessons learned and insights gained” with his NLC class, which he calls a “journey of truth-seekers committed to helping each other along the way.” Very inspiring!  You can also read our interview with Shane here.

The Albert Baker Fund is proud to financially support  the NLC program. NLC is helping teens grow into strong leaders who have the desire and skills to serve others and our Movement. If you would like to be a part of supporting other young people like Shane, as they move forward into college, please join with us!

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