MHS Heroes: Youth Leader Tries to Inspire Students but Ends Up Inspired to Learn More From Students

Livie Cordova

Livie Cordova

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Marshfield, Mo – My youth leader’s name is Alyssa Stelmach and she inspires me to do better every single day. She started getting involved with the Sonrise youth program four years ago when her Bible study group was canceled for the day, her friend invited her to a youth event. She talked to many kids while she was there. Apparently she made a pretty good impression because parents from the church started asking her why she was not more involved with the youth program. Then so many parents started talking about it the youth leader at the time sat her down and asked her to be more involved. She said, “They asked me if I would be more involved with the youth and I told them I wasn’t good enough. I told then that I have such a past and they wouldn’t want me with the youth. They then told me that my past was the reason I should be a youth leader because I could teach the kids what not to do.” Stelmach then started coming to more and more youth events.

The youth leader that was there stepped down and Alyssa was asked to take their place. She gladly accepted and has now been at Sonrise for four years. Alyssa has made an impact on many students and continues to motivate them to be better people. Anytime a youth group kid misses church or youth group, she texts them to check up on them and make sure they are okay. Which may not sound like much, but it really means a lot to many kids.  Alyssa actually cares about the students and said, “anytime someone asks me if I have kids I say yes. I have 20 high school kids”. She talks about her personal life with the youth and lets them into her real life. Alyssa has learned from student Shannon Jester that there are always two different perspectives. “Her and I were talking about anxiety and depression and I don’t remember exactly what I said but Shannon said she didn’t relate to it because she doesn’t have either of those things. She then suggested something else for me to try that I didn’t even think of. I just learned a lot in that conversation from her and it was kind of a wake-up call that everyone has their own story.”


Interviewer: What is your favorite part about being a youth leader?

Alyssa: “ The unity and the relationships I have with the kids since I’ve been here we have done more things with the junior high kids so its less scary for them to come up to the high school with I think really shows how great you guys are that you can get along so well with the younger kids.  The smiles you guys give me when we see each other really remind me that I am doing a good job or at least something right.”