Alumni Spotlight
Olivia Powell ('10) Pursues Her Gifting in the Medical Field
Categories: General, Alumni
Posted: 6/19/2017

Olivia Powell is learning to be on her own as a nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit. Hired in February 2017 by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for the night shift, she is training for her job by working alternate day and night shifts.

“It’s a good way to learn how to be independent," said Olivia. "Working the day shift gives me more interaction with colleagues as well as visiting parents of infants. I can practice my newly-learned nursing skills with the support of experienced staff who are close by to support me as I become more skilled in my job.”

Olivia graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in public health. She continued her education at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and has her master’s degree in clinical nurse leadership.

While at UGA, Olivia was uncertain about her career path and said she really prayed about the direction in which God would have her go. God eventually revealed to her, “Olivia, it’s ok. I have a plan for you.” She thought maybe she was to work in the emergency room, but then her high grades rewarded her a 400-hour practicum in the pediatric ICU. That experience showed her that pediatrics was where God wanted her to be.

Voted by her senior class at Whitefield as “most likely to host her own talk show,” Olivia says now she has the opportunity to engage deeply in conversation with parents and doctors. She is learning to be comfortable talking to strangers about life-threatening medical issues. Compassion, tone of voice, and genuine love for her patients have given her tough conversation assignments. She is learning to practice “dashboard therapy” when she leaves her shift, often shedding a tear or two in her car.

Olivia traveled to Peru in October 2016 with a medical mission team focused on women’s health. She had to brush up on her Spanish in order to be a team leader and looks forward to returning one day, possibly for a longer period of time.

When asked how Whitefield prepared her for college and her career, she said she learned how to study, how to listen, take notes, and ask questions—all of which have helped her excel in the medical profession. She is grateful for the morals and values instilled during her tenure at Whitefield, which has helped her to stay the course throughout college.

“Doc Liv,” as her friends called her at Whitefield, is getting to live out her gift of communication, offering compassionate support and guidance through her skills gained in the medical profession. Who knows, maybe one day she will have her own talk show.

Whitefield Alumnus Parachutes Into Texas Rangers Game
Categories: General, Alumni
Posted: 4/10/2017

Everett Joiner (’13), a senior at the United States Air Force Academy, along with his teammates on the Wings of Blue jumped into the Texas Rangers home-opening baseball game on April 3 which was televised on ESPN. Everett and the Wings of Blue also jumped into the Maxwell Air Force Base Air Show April 8-9 in Montgomery, Alabama.

Caroline Pattillo ('05) Returns Home to Whitefield
Categories: General, Alumni
Posted: 12/7/2016

Caroline (far left) with the WolfPack varsity girls cross-country team
Caroline Pattillo ('05) graduated from Whitefield in 2005 and returned in 2016 as advancement office manager. She graduated from the University of Georgia and gained management experience while working at West Stride Running Store and as a neurodevelopmental teacher at Jacob’s Ladder, a school for students with special needs.

Caroline started her career at Whitefield as a student in the original UFO building.

“Whitefield gave me a firm foundation spiritually, academically, and emotionally and has shaped me into the woman I am today,” she said. “I am so grateful to all of the teachers who invested in me. I have always wanted to work for a Christian organization and am excited to be able to now give back to the Whitefield family.”

When Caroline is not running the advancement office, you can find her running the track or cross-country trails. Since coming back to Whitefield, she has supported the efforts of the cross-country team and brings her years of expertise to the runners. She is an accomplished marathon runner and Ironman tri-athlete, most recently running the Silver Comet Marathon. To get her going in the morning hours, she swims most days at Westminster with Masters Swim Team, a nationwide organization.

Caroline worships at Mt. Paran Church of God. She owns her own home in Smyrna, and Lilly and Brooks, her two dogs, keep her company.

Sophie Kemether Travels Across the Pond to Reconnect with Whitefield Teacher
Categories: General, Alumni
Posted: 11/4/2016

Sophie Kemether (’14) stopped by Whitefield at the end of the 2016 school year to see her former teachers. As she expected, when she stuck her head in the door of Ms. Bonnem’s classroom, she was busy with another student, so Sophie later emailed her former teacher and friend to see if they could meet up and get coffee. The only problem was that Ms. Bonnem was in the United Kingdom finishing up her masters’ program and would be there all summer.

Sophie continues her story…

A few weeks later, after being bored to tears at an internship and securing my parents' “ok,” I started off on a spur-of-the-moment backpacking trip across Europe. After meeting alumni Audrey Garrett (’15) in Amsterdam and Bennett Shilling (’14) in London studying at Imperial College, I realized Ms. Bonnem was only an hour-long train ride away in Oxford, so I shot her an email! I met up with Anna Moore (’13), another Whitefield grad studying there, for lunch at Oxford's Covered Market and some friends from the University of Virginia for croquet, then quite literally sprinted to make the 4:01 p.m. train back to London that Ms. Bonnem said she would be on in order to see a play (tickets she said she won and I'm sure she won from a writing competition in her class or something that I'm sure she was too modest to specify). We sat together on a very crowded train and covered my future goals, her future goals, and everything in between! We even got shushed by an angry fellow passenger on the “quiet carriage” for talking too loudly!

It may sound cliché, but our hour together literally flew by, and it felt like minutes before we were back at Paddington Station in London. We said our goodbyes in the "Tube" only after snapping a selfie. It was an incredible experience to catch up with one of my favorite teachers from Whitefield and trusted Student Council advisor in such a cool location.

On a more sentimental note, Ms. Bonnem is incredibly talented at what she does and incredibly passionate about English writing and history (not to mention a pretty hardcore biker chick). She is someone I would definitely consider an inspiration and someone I look forward to staying in touch with as we both progress in life! She truly is such a gem, and it was an absolute treat to get to spend some one-on-one time with her.

Justin Brendel ('14) Blends Academics with Sports and Faith
Categories: General, Athletics, Alumni
Posted: 8/1/2016

Justin Brendel ('14) attends Haverford College, a liberal arts college outside of Philadelphia, where he is majoring in religion and minoring in economics. Academics are challenging at Haverford according to Justin.

“Compared to Whitefield, there is much more assigned reading and more expected from you on a daily basis in class," said Justin. "There are fewer grades given, and it is not rare to have only three assignments make up your entire grade for a semester. While stressful at times, it has taught me to be self-disciplined in staying current on class assignments.”

Justin acknowledges that the curriculum in his religion major (which studies all religions) does not approach scripture from a Christ-inspired worldview, so it falls on him to be able to discern sound logic from “wacky theories.” Justin says the exciting part for him is that the Bible is used. Although it is treated merely as a text, he is not limited to that understanding. He considers his papers as a ministry opportunity to his teachers because he is able to critically analyze the text by drawing on messages fundamental to truth, hope, and love.

Those fundamental messages carry over into sports as well as life in community with others. Justin says that lacrosse takes up a lot of his time, usually five to six hours a day during the season, but the additional commitment also forces him to schedule his time and use it well. Justin feels that the fair amount of playing he receives gives him the opportunity to be a positive contributor, which is a success in itself.

In addition to lifting weights, film sessions, and games, Justin loves his teammates and finds that the daily interaction gives him a chance to live out his faith. One of the ways he has done this is by starting a Bible study on his lacrosse team.

“This has been amazing because many guys on my team have religious school backgrounds but have never considered the Gospel as a personal message with real-life implications," said Justin. "A lot of people on my team say they like the idea of religion, like being able to follow a set of rules, but they have not heard that Jesus can change hearts. I think sharing Jesus with my team is a big reason why God has me at Haverford. I am constantly learning, discovering, and asking for new ways to engage them with Gospel-truth. Whether it is a question about Christian apologetics during a pregame warm-up to a question about holiness, these conversations always encourage me and develop deeper relationships with my teammates.”

Naomy Grand'Pierre Qualifies To Swim In Rio
Categories: General, Athletics, Alumni
Posted: 7/6/2016

Whitefield Academy alumna Naomy Grand’Pierre (’15) is heading to the Olympic games in Rio! Grand-Pierre secured a spot in the Rio games after competing in the qualifying rounds held in the Bahamas recently. She participated in a training program in Ohio through a scholarship funded by Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) to improve her times and was ready for the Bahama qualifying rounds.

Grand’Pierre just completed her freshman year at the University of Chicago where she is a member of the women’s swim team. She also competes on the Atlanta Dolphins Swim Team. While at Whitefield, she helped lead the WolfPack swim team to state competition.

Grand-Pierre, who is of Haitian descent, is excited about the opportunity, “I look forward to representing my Atlanta Dolphins Swim Team and certainly the country of Haiti on one of the most prestigious stages of competition.”

Romaine Vernet, a representative of Haitian-American Youth Reaching Out (HYRO) said, “I’ve known Naomy since she was a little girl. I’m so proud of her. What she’s doing is very monumental. Just to see someone of our heritage representing Haiti in the Olympics is a big thing for all of us.”