High school students interested in joining Wheaton College’s Vanguard Gap Year have the opportunity to learn about the program on Feb. 2 in the Meyer Science Center.
Vanguard is an annual program offered to high school graduates looking to dedicate a year between high school and college towards developing their spiritual faith, acquiring new skills, becoming academically prepared and learning how to serve wherever they are. Although attending college after the program’s completion is not required, the 12 students participating this year have already made plans to pursue higher education in the fall of 2016.
The inaugural year of Vanguard started on Sep. 19, 2015 with eight men and four women and will end on Aug. 14, 2016. Director of HoneyRock and assistant professor of Christian Formation and Ministry Rob Ribbe created and planned the program around a year earlier with the collaboration of HoneyRock staff and a group of Wheaton College graduate school students. The program’s purpose is for students to discover their leadership skills and calling while experiencing new ways to learn, explore and serve.
Vanguard program manager Charlie Goeke noted that Vanguard is recommended for students who “desire to live and work in an intentional community” and “are looking to build their faith and deepen their relationship with God.”
For the last three months of the program, students have the opportunity to apply and serve as HoneyRock staff fulfilling roles such as camp counselor and ministry support.
Vanguard member David Hudson shared with the Record that he is enjoying all the experiences the program has offered so far. Hudson applied for the program so he could dedicate himself towards focusing on his career and faith. He admitted that the “busyness in high school with sports, music and academics” encouraged him to take a pause.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible because only 24 positions are available for each gender when the program starts again on Sep. 17, 2016. Hudson asserted his positive involvement in Vanguard by saying, “Though it isn’t for everyone, I’d definitely suggest it to others.”