Everyday Student: Natalie Autrey

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A sophomore education major, Natalie Autrey isn’t waiting for graduation day to start using her teaching talents to make a difference

BEING TAUGHT TO TEACH Though her semesters at Harding are similar to those of her classmates, Autrey isn’t waiting to get involved in teaching opportunities. She spends her summers working at youth camps. One in particular, Higher Ground, an all-girls camp, is directed by her mom. “From Bible-marking classes to experience lessons with our ‘camp grandma,’ Higher Ground has taught me and countless other girls how to be the kind of Christian women we should be. It made me want to always be surrounded by Christians, which led me to Harding.”

A SUMMER OF SISTERHOOD Autrey knows not everyone is able to live in an environment that supports their beliefs and is thankful for her time spent at camp to teach and encourage the younger girls. “I have heard countless girls say how much of a piece of heaven girls camp is for them. For some Christian girls who come from non-Christian homes, it’s the only place they feel they can be themselves.

IT’S NOT ALWAYS PERFECT Being the leader for the high school girls cabin at another youth camp, Autrey tries to be a positive influence for the girls and ends each night with time together to help ease tension and promote unity within the camp. “We did devotionals every night. Mainly because they’re high school girls, there was a lot of drama, so we did devotionals on forgiving others, relationship builders and that sort of thing.”

WHEN IN CAMBODIA … Autrey’s father works as a missionary in Cambodia, where Autrey has been invited to speak and teach women’s Bible classes. She enjoys teaching and the connections she is able to make through mission work. “Teaching the women’s class at the preaching school was great and so fun. I hope I can do that again someday.”

LIVING AND LEARNING Though Autrey has only completed one year at Harding, she feels she has learned much and plans to make the most of future learning experiences in and out of the classroom. “One thing I’ve learned is that, when you put yourself out there, you’re going to meet some incredible people — and with that comes more opportunities where you can get involved. So just be yourself, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”

— Bethany Aspey

Categories: Around Campus.

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