While many Pensacola Christian College students returned home to summer jobs and church ministry in May, some chose to remain on campus. Whether they’re maintaining a food line in Four Winds, keeping buildings clean with Environmental Services, or assisting customers at the Abeka Offices, these students are serving others by filling the needs of a variety of departments.
About to start her senior year, Victoria Abla (OK) decided to spend the summer working on campus. At her job in the Distribution Center, Victoria takes Abeka books and arranges them by their specified cell number. “This part of distribution requires speed and accuracy,” she said. “The fewer mistakes that are made, the sooner the books get packed into the boxes and loaded on the trucks.”
Through the Work Assistance Program, eligible students are welcome to apply for one of a variety of summer jobs on campus. While job considerations are based on financial need and work availability, students can work full-time through the summer with free room and board to help pay their way through college.
“Getting this job [in the Distribution Center] was not by accident,” said Victoria, who had stayed home while taking classes this past spring semester. As the semester ended, Victoria’s small hometown didn’t have much to offer for summer work. “When my parents opened the letter about summer work opportunities at PCC, I immediately jumped at the opportunity,” she said. “Within two weeks, I was on a plane headed for sunny Florida. Transitioning into working 40+ hours a week was a breeze. I was still terrified that my first day would go wrong, but I am still here.”
Carlia Bowe (Jr., The Bahamas), who also works at the Distribution Center, has enjoyed meeting other summer work students and building new friendships. Outside of work, Carlia has enjoyed getting to know her summer roommate, visiting with family members who live in town, chatting with friends during evenings outside the Commons, and cheering for those playing on the summer coed soccer teams.
“Staying here for the summer, I have met people that I honestly believe I would have never met during the semester,” said Carlia. “Most importantly, I’ve been able to spend more time with my Lord and Savior, getting closer to Him and just listening to His voice.”
Kiana Edwin (Sr., TN), who works as a barista at the Common Grounds Café, is one of the many students taking a summer class. By taking Revelation (BI 414), Kiana hopes to improve her grades and workload for the semesters ahead. “I heard that this class was one of the harder ones in my major,” she said. “I hope that taking this class during the summer allows me more time and energy to focus on it, instead of having to take this class along with several others during the semester.”
Without a full schedule of classes and assignments to work on, students are free to participate in a variety of summer activities. They can sign up for Student Outings such as dinner at local favorite La Hacienda, engage in thoughtful conversations in Book Club, take to the stage in Summer Theatre, sing praises in Summer Chorale, and grow together in Edify summer prayer group.
During her free time, Kiana is looking forward to ministering to others in Christian Service, attending the Blue Wahoos baseball student outing, and catching the coed sports games. For now, she’s glad to spend time catching up with friends old and new during meals and trying out a variety of games on campus, including the tennis courts. “I am so glad that I stayed and worked over the summer!” she said. “The pay is of course a great thing, but I have made so many friends and connections, I work with an amazing group of people, and I have had so much fun!”
As a photographer in Advertising, Christian Whitaker (Jr., TN) feels as though he’s involved with the Youth Outreach Ministry summer camps. His team works flexible hours to attend and capture all the exciting experiences that camp life has to offer. During his week off, Christian joined his brother out West for a special graduation trip. “We did a lot of different things including paragliding—it was a blast! The best part was simply time with family,” he said.
Crys Raite (Jr., DE) has worked in the Campus Store since January 2020. While primarily a cashier, she also trained to work at Eagle Express, the on-campus dry cleaning service, and The Pelican, the shop in women’s residence halls. “Working full-time in Campus Store is different than during the semester. During the summer, we catch up on projects and keep the store running for the campers,” she said. “I enjoy working with my coworkers and customers alike. It’s cool to talk to people from all over the country and share stories.”
Taking time to step away from the busyness of the semester life has been a highlight these students have enjoyed. “Summer on campus is relaxed and enjoyable. I highly recommend it for those who don’t already have summer plans lined up,” said Christian. “There’s a lot of opportunity to serve and see the Lord work in your own life. Just be aware—it’s hot!”