Latham Christian Academy is privileged to have nine graduating seniors during the 2018 – 2019 school year. Several members of the Class of 2019 have attended LCA for a long time, and they have all become good friends during their time here. We will be highlighting one of the seniors each month in an article published in our Knightline newsletter. We continue this week with senior Jessie Chen.
Jessie Chen has attended Latham Christian Academy since Mrs. Urban’s K4 class in 2005. As mentioned in an earlier Senior Spotlight, Jessie and classmate James Earnest have the longest tenure of any current LCA student.
Jessie’s mother was born in China where she also went to college. To try for greater opportunities, she moved to New York City where she met Jessie’s father and earned her living making jewelry. (Shortly before the 9-11 attacks, Jessie’s mom was working at the Marriott below the Twin Towers.) In 2001, the couple decided to move to Colonie where Jessie’s father opened a sushi restaurant.
Jessie’s sister Chelsea, a current 8th grade student at LCA, was born in 2005. Today, Jessie’s father lives in New York City where he is recovering from a stroke, and Jessie’s mother is a custodian at the University at Albany and lives in Watervliet.
Upon moving to the area, Jessie’s family first attended Loudonville Community Church before starting to worship with a Chinese church in Albany. Eventually Jessie and her family settled at Latham Bible Baptist Church where they continue to worship and serve. Jessie accepted Christ as her Savior in Mrs. Urban’s class at LCA in May 2006. Before the start of fifth grade, Jessie followed Christ in believer’s baptism at LBBC under the leadership of Pastor Walter. Jessie has been actively involved in her youth group, has helped in the church nursery, and has volunteered in the annual vacation Bible school.
Jessie will remember several special friends from her time at LCA. Taylor Hanson, who attended LCA through 6th grade, and Jessie have been best friends since kindergarten. Taylor and Jessie still continue to remain close, although Jessie remembers keeping each other busy writing their own tests and quizzes when they were in class together.
Jessie also will fondly remember classmate James Roarke—“Mayo”—you’ll have to ask them! Jessie reports that James is always asking her to do his yearbook pages!
LCA alumnae Mickayla Mein (Class of 2016) is another special friend to Jessie. She remembers that they used to take naps at school and stay with Kallie and eat her mother’s snacks!
Junior TJ Ryan first became friends with Jessie while throwing rocks at Pastor’s camp and almost hitting Mrs. Walter (whoops!). Jessie will remember that they laugh a lot together, eat a lot together, and talk about future work out plans together that never seem to happen!
Jessie will also remember her longtime volleyball coach, Mrs. Kupeyan. They would talk a lot about volleyball and a lot of “random things”!
Jessie has one funny memory when she was in a classroom with Mickalya, Chelsea, and Kallie. Mr. Fry came in and asked, “Who is supervising you?” Without missing a beat and in typical Christian school student fashion, Kallie replied (in the most innocent voice), “Jesus!”
Jessie does hope to return to China some day. She would love to bring someone along and show them the food she remembers. She would also appreciate the opportunity to see the family she has not seen since she was very young.
This fall, Jessie plans to attend Sage College and study nursing. She hopes to go into neo-natal nursing or pediatric nursing and would like to remain in this area in the future.
Deuteronomy 31:6 is an encouraging Scripture verse to Jessie, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”