Helping students develop their academic and non-academic gifts to the glory of God.
Joy Ramey’s story is one of resilience, strength, and what she claims as “God’s relentless faithfulness” to her. Upon her graduation from Grace in 2011, Joy went on to attend Baylor University. During the spring break of her senior year, she was unexpectedly diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which she began treatment for immediately. As a testament to her tenacious spirit, Joy was able to graduate from Baylor as scheduled that spring before finishing treatment in Tyler.
After months of chemo and radiation, Joy waws declared cancer-free, and within the year was offered a job coordinating Special Events at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. While Joy was recovering from her cancer treatment, she decided to pursue a goal of running a 5k, which was scheduled for the exact date of her diagnosis the year before. Over time, her goal transitioned from a 5k to 10k to a half marathon, at which point she decided to officially begin training for the New York City Marathon in the Fall of 2018. “If I can go through what I had to health-wise, I knew that I could push myself to train for a marathon,” she stated.
Joy chose to dedicate this race as a celebration of good health and of the Lord’s faithfulness for healing her, while raising donations along the way for the American Cancer Society. To Joy, running became a reminder of the Lord’s faithfulness and how He restores us when we are weak…making all things new.
In December 2018, the Grace community lost one of its own to cancer, Kristen Moss (’11), who was a classmate of Joy’s. Following Kristen’s passing, Joy desired to honor Kristen’s legacy of passion, godliness, and kindness by running the 2019 Chicago Marathon in honor of her friend’s life and impact. In October 2019, Joy completed her second marathon, through which she raised additional funds for the American Cancer Society. In memory of their friend Kristen, former classmates Abby Gordon (’11) and Kinsey Featherson (’11) cheered Joy on for her special day.
Joy proclaimed, “Going through everything with my health was frightening and a time of uncertainty, but I can honestly say that I am so thankful for my experience and what the Lord taught me through the process. It totally changed my perspective on life, and I can’t imagine where I would be today if I hadn’t gone through this experience.”
After graduation from Grace, Uzo Osuagwu attended Texas A & M, majoring in biomedical sciences before earning his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. “Since I can remember I had always wanted to become a doctor,” stated Uzo, “I never really thought about anything else and the Lord was so faithful in seeing that through.” The past three years he has completed his residency, ending as Chief Resident in Anesthesiology, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, Memorial Hermann Hospital. Uzo finds fulfillment in medicine because he “loves meeting people and not only do I get to meet so many wonderful people but I also get to take care of them in what is usually a very vulnerable time for them and their families.”
When asked if he thinks Grace Community helped prepare him for his professional life, Uzo exclaimed, “Absolutely! The biggest thing was sowing a seed of the Word in my life. That changed everything! I also think my involvement in extracurricular activities helped develop my interpersonal/leadership skills.” Uzo says his memories of being at Grace are deeply held and valued; “Overall, what I remember so fondly about Grace are the people and friends that I made. I was so blessed to make THE most amazing friends. . . It’s been so neat to walk with them through college and some even through medical school; even more special now to be involved in weddings and to see children being born. I could go on and on forever; short version is Grace and the people there will always have a very special place in my heart.”
Leigha’s last name is being omitted due to the nature of her job, but she is well known within the halls of Grace. After graduating in 2005, she attended Dallas Baptist University where she earned her degree in Business Administration. She originally believed she would put her education to use in politics and that is the path she pursued upon graduation.
When Leigha was a student at Grace her favorite overall memory had been the class trip to Washington, D.C. and she had often thought she would love the chance to live and work in the nation’s Capital. As she explains, “the Lord opened a door, and I had the opportunity to work with the FBI and immediately jumped at the chance! To this day, I haven’t looked back.” Leigha says that her job has presented an opportunity to make close and probably life-long friendships. As she and her colleagues work for their country, their jobs are complex whether “it’s looking for the child who went missing, responding to a terrorist attack, or simply helping someone achieve their lifelong goal of working for the FBI, we help people every day.” In fact, as Leigha explains, the focal points of the FBI are to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States.
When asked what she values from her years at Grace, Leigha responds,” While people grow a lot from their time in high school to their adult life, and I’m very different now than I was in high school, Grace gave me quality leadership opportunities and experiences to grow from later on in life. As a multi-sport athlete and involvement in extra-curricular organizations, there were ample opportunities to get involved and lead.”
I’m currently a captain in Montgomery, AL, at Maxwell AFB (not my first time here!). I am working at Officer Training School and have been here for 2.5 years (after spending 3 years in Warner Robins, GA). I started out at as a primary instructor for new cadets. 66 officers today can say they were primarily trained and mentored by me, which is pretty humbling. I’ve moved on to a variety of administrative type jobs here, and I am currently the course director, which means that executing our syllabus and building our schedule is my primary focus.
I’ve been working on my Master’s degree in Space Studies through American Military University. I’m hoping this will help get me into NASA or the space industry somehow. I submitted my astronaut application earlier this year and will continue applying as many times as they let me. I’m due to move in the spring, but I don’t know where yet. I’ve enjoyed my time here in AL much more than I thought I would. It’s great hearing from you and I hope to keep in touch a lot better than I have!
Bethany McGaha graduated from Oklahoma State University Honors College, after winning numerous research awards, including participation in the OSU Scholar Development Program at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, England. “GCS helped me because when I headed off to college I felt very prepared.” She adds, “I was ready academically and grounded spiritually. The time management skills were also clutch.” She then earned her Juris Doctor, from SMU’s Dedman School of Law in May, 2010. While there Bethany participated in the European Court of Justice Summit, Luxembourg, as well as being a semi-finalist in the NYU Immigration Law Moot Court Competition.
Today, Bethany practices law at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Office of Legal Affairs in Dallas. Bethany explains her choice, “After deciding to go to law school, my primary professional goal was to practice healthcare law at a hospital system or university.” She further explains, “More often than not when people seek an attorney it is when things have gone bad. Lawyers have the opportunity to help their clients navigate the legal system with compassion and integrity.” She enjoys the fact that she truly does learn something new every day. As she explains, “The law is always changing, particularly in healthcare. The daily problem solving is also something that keeps me on my toes.” She also serves as a mentor to young law students.
When not working, Bethany is grateful to be very plugged in with her local church where she serves as a home group leader for single women. As she says with a smile, “I work a lot, but I do promise I have a real life outside of work!