Staff Spotlight: Ashley Ruppert, Team Leader
We are continuing our staff spotlight this month with our blue team leader and jr. high girls leader, Miss Ashley. One of my favorite aspects of our lovely Miss Ashley is the time she has invested, not just in our program, but in the lives of our students. Having been with us for over four years, she has been able to develop some great relationships with our kids and families, always pointing them to Jesus. Let's let her answers speak for themselves:
How did you get started with Tiqvah?
" I met Stephanie Lawrence (a beloved Tiqvah veteran) at Malone University. After talking for all of 5 minutes, she began telling me about an organization called Tiqvah Hands of Hope and how it would be a great fit. And man, was she right, this is now my fourth year with Tiqvah."
What do you do now for Tiqvah?
"I am currently the blue team leader (4th and 5th grade), as well as the Junior High girls team leader."
What is your favorite part of the Tiqvah day and why?
"While I love watching the joy and excitement of our children as they get off the bus, I’d have to say my favorite part of the day takes place about 10 to 15 minutes after arrival. When you watch them shake off their days and settle in. Whatever happened before Tiqvah doesn’t matter. They know they are safe here and cared for, and all of sudden their guards drop and their eyes of wonder and adventure open."
What motivates you to keep going on tough days?
"I’d like to say I can talk myself through the tough days, but I can’t. What gets me through the tough days might be a given, but it’s also easily overlooked. Without the support, guidance, reassurance and never ceasing presence of the Lord, I would not make it through. Some of our tough days have nothing to do with behavior but rather the pain and hardship that our children carry through life. Those days break your heart, and without the hope that only Jesus Christ brings my heart would remain broken."
What is one thing you wish people knew about Tiqvah?
"It isn’t easy, but it is worth it. Our days are filled with hard situations cloaked in tears and anger. But within those same days you will hear laughter from a place only the Lord can bring about. You will see smiles from children that normally frown, relationships will grow, and memories are made. Yes, our days aren’t always easy, but they are well worth it."
If we asked the kids to tell us something about you what would they say?
"They would say I’m competitive, and it’s true. I love competition and the lessons it teaches. I see it this way; Christ is the greatest competitor to walk this earth. He came to defeat sin and death and to win our hearts. This world has taught us that competition is about me, myself, and I. It teaches us that we should win no matter the cost. I want to show our children that competition isn’t bad. We should put everything we’ve got into what we are doing, and we should press on when we want to stop. But there is a way to do that in fairness and respect to those whom we are competing with. "