Hey there! My name is Melissa Labbadia and I just graduated in May from Cedarville with a degree in Applied Communication. I’m originally from Connecticut and being a part of a church that I can get connected with has been a strong desire of mine; but for my first three years at Cedarville, I ended up just “church hopping”. Before my senior year started, I made up my mind to attend Grace for the purpose of getting plugged in and being able to serve in a ministry setting. At the beginning of the school year, I attended the meeting for students who were looking to get involved in some way. When I heard Barb say that she was looking for a Children’s ministry intern, I was automatically interested in working with her.
During my time working as an intern at Grace I was able to serve in many different capacities. For the first semester, I was able to take turns each Sunday helping with and observing each Sunday School class from Nursery through Fifth grade as well as a few Wednesdays during Awana. During the second semester, I had the opportunity to serve in Connect 34 with the 3rd and 4th Grade Girls. I had never worked with this age group before, but I loved every minute of it and wish I could’ve stayed longer! Throughout the week, I was able to work in the office near Barb. I focused mainly on helping her with a variety of projects, filing and organizing many things, and I was also able to plan a girl’s event.
The one thing that was the most impactful, and most unexpected, part of working at Grace were the people who I was able to meet and work with. I was blessed incredibly by the loving and welcoming environment that made me realize I did have a church family here at school (finally!). I found a great mentor in Barb and I was thankful for her guidance and desire to want me to be able to use my skill sets to serve Christ. I feel more equipped after working at Grace to be able to jump into different areas of Children’s ministry and serve effectively; all with keeping in mind the purpose of sharing the big picture of God’s word with every child.