“My move to arizona was one of the hardest experiences of my life. after living almost 14 years of my life in washington, my dad received a job offer in arizona and our entire family was uprooted. i had to leave all i had ever known; my friends, my school, my family, my sports teams, and many other things. i was terrible nervous because i did not know anyone in arizona, i would have to start fresh. after going to private school for the last 5 years, i was placed in public school in the middle of my eighth grade year. the change was much harder than i had imagined it to be. starting at a new school with all new people was very difficult and i became a much quieter person than i previously was. i didn’t have a lot friends at school after i moved and that really took a toll on me, however the friendships that i made at my new church helped me to get through the last half of my eighth grade year. the friends and leaders i met at my church helped me to grow closer to Christ and it made school a lot easier for me. now i am back at private school heading into my junior year and i couldn’t be happier here in arizona. of course i miss all of my friends and family in washington, but this move to arizona put me out of my comfort zone and really made me draw on God’s strength and His strength alone to get through a time when i didn’t have very many people looking out for me.”-braden whale (16)