If you could give advice to an incoming freshman, or to your younger self, what would it be?
A professor told me freshman year, “No one can take away what God has for you, and no one can give you what God doesn't have planned for you.” This has been my mantra since I heard it. This mindset has opened up my life for God to bless me in ways I could have never imagined. If you seek God first, and allow him to make the path for you, then all you need to do is keep the faith and push forward. It's never easy, but when you abide by God, you will never fail.
Describe your APU experience thus far and how it has helped shape you into the person you are today.
APU has helped me build the foundation for my life as a believer and as an artist. Before APU, I was a Christian but I did not have a close relationship with God. At APU, I am surrounded by many strong believers and role models, so I naturally grew a passion for the Lord. Reading scripture daily, as well as books such as 'The Case for Christ,' and 'Mere Christianity', helped me grow as a believer immensely.
When I first came to APU I was expecting to learn about film, graduate, get a job, then nothing else. APU has given me so much more than I could imagine. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to study at a school that pushes me to be both the best artist and child of God I can be.
What excites you most about being an APU student?
I love the balance of having friends that push me to be a better filmmaker, and a better Christian. Within the last year alone, I have experienced some of the most thought-provoking and affirming conversations with friends and faculty. At APU, I feel supported and encouraged to step into the life God has in front of me. I truly believe I wouldn't have had those same conversations, or be the person I am, if it weren't for the work God has done here at APU.
What current projects are you working on, and what tools are you utilizing to accomplish them?
I am currently directing a short film I wrote, called "Shattered." I first got the idea for this film in November 2020. I spent the next ten months crafting the story, and [this] last month filming it. There are seven of us on the crew [Ethan Bechtold, ‘23, Lily Bolaños, ‘22, Trey Dickerson, ‘23, Adam Duffy, ‘23, Jasmine Acuna, ‘22, and Sarah Cloke, ‘23.] We fundraised all of September [utilizing] GoFundMe and Blaze Pizza. This is by far the biggest production I have ever taken on and I am incredibly blessed by the amount of support I have received from the crew, my professors, and from my friends outside of the cinema program.
What are the things you want to see God do in you and at APU this year?
I want to see God work in every facet of my life this semester. I have always put God and film in different areas of my life and within the last year I've been learning to blend the two. I want to grow deeper into the life he has for me, and furthermore I want to see God pour into others in ways only He can.
Mark 11:23 says, "Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them." I want to see God move mountain-sized things in people's lives. I want to see mountain-moving faith in my own life and in the lives of APU students.