Recently, CCS connected with Alumna Lauren (Patefield) Hellum to find out what she's been up to since her graduation from CCS in 2013.
CCS: What have you been doing since High School?
LH: I stepped into college eager to play the sport I love and to get a degree in an area that I knew would be the perfect place for me. Throughout college I have grown as a soccer player and a teacher by the coaches and professors that have walked through the last four years with me.
My best accomplishments academically would be that I maintained a high enough GPA to receive student-athlete awards all four years college. Though soccer was important, I knew that I was a STUDENT-athlete and my grades needed to be in a place that would allow me to succeed in my future occupation of being a math teacher.
My best accomplishment athletically would have to be from my final senior season of soccer at Northwest University. I was privileged to receive a Second Team All-Conference award. This reward was just a start to the best post-season I have every experienced. We went into conference playoffs as an underdog and beat two higher ranked teams to get into regionals. Our regional game was in Southern California versus Biola University. Biola was ranked 8th in the nation and was a #1 seed for the national tournament. We beat them 2-0 in regulation time and this led us to the Sweet 16 of the National Tournament in Orange Beach, Alabama (BEAUTIFUL city!). Our first round of Nationals was against a team from Kansas, they were the only other “upset” team to make it into the National Tournament. We beat them in a PK shoot out, where I was able to save two PKs and move us onto the Elite 8. This is probably my all time favorite game I have every played for a couple reasons. The first is that I believe this is the best game that I have played in my collegiate career (though my dad would tell you my best game was at Biola). My second reason is that my parents and my husband (who had driven 40+ hours from Washington to Alabama and surprised me at that game) were in the crowd and cheering me on! The second round was against a team from Georgia and we beat them in regulation time 4-1, this guaranteed us a place in the Final Four! Again, our team was the under dogs from our CONFERENCE playoffs, let alone the National Tournament, which no Northwest University soccer program had ever made it past Conference Playoffs before! So to make it to the Final Four was an incredible, unforgettable experience. We ended up losing to a team from Ohio that won the tournament in the Final Four game. Though winning would have been amazing, I was so proud of our team for how hard we worked and fought to get to the semi-finals of the National Tournament! It was a time I will never, ever forget!
My best accomplishment personally was getting married to my best friend. It will be a year on June 16 and what an amazing year it has been! I started praying for my husband when I was 12 years old. Little did I already know that I had already met him and that we would be married 9 years later. We met when we were 10 years old at our parent’s community group. We would see each other weekly at that community group till we were about 12. After that, both our families changed churches, and we didn’t see each other until I was in 9th grade. From there we would see each other periodically over the next 4 years. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college that we started talking and becoming friends again. You could say that, “The rest is history!” God answered my prayers in ways that I could not have imagined.
CCS: What are you up to currently?
LH: Besides being married to an amazing man, I am currently employed in Sumner School District as a Math Teacher for the upcoming 17/18 school year. It is an amazing opportunity to get a job, not only right after college, but before I even graduated!
CCS: What are you most excited about right now?
LH: Right now, I am most excited about being offered a job right out of college. I was nervous that it would take me till August to find a job or even that I might have to sub the first couple years into my career. I was offered an amazing opportunity to be observed by a few principals, vice principals and district members of the Sumner School District during my student teaching and with that observation I was offered a place in Sumner. Though I do not know what school I will be at yet, I know I have been guaranteed a job and that is a huge weight off my shoulders.
CCS: How did God prepare you for where you’re at right now?
LH: God has prepared me for where I am at right now and for anything else life will throw my way through the testimony and life of my Aunt. My Aunt Nancy was and will always be my hero. She fought cancer for 8 years and walked with God through every step of it. She has taught me to be faithful to our Savior in all circumstances, because with Him, we can do all things. Her life verse was Jeremiah 29:11, which is such a well known verse, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’” She held onto the verse until the very end…knowing that the plan God had for her was way better than her own. Her testimony lives with me everyday and it is through her story that God has prepared me for the rest of my life.
CCS: In what ways did you grow in your faith as a result of your experience at CCS?
LH: I grow in my faith as a result of my experience at CCS by having the opportunity to have chapel once a week. I loved having chapel and being able to worship and listen to different speakers weekly. Some of my favorites were when my own youth pastor got to come and speak at chapel, Jeff Bethke, and whenever AXIS came and spoke.
CCS: How do you feel that CCS prepared you for graduation, college, and life?
LH: On my last day of my senior year, Mr. Bryan Peterson gave what he dubbed “The Big 6,” which were things that we should do in life to succeed in every area. These things have stayed with me for the last four years and will continue to do so.
- Be true to yourself
- Help Others
- Make each day your master piece
- Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible
- Make friendship a fine art
- Build a shelter for a rainy day
- Pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings every day
2. Direction determines path not intention. Proverbs 27:12. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
3. Get plugged into a church/college group.
4. Find a mentor (A Solomon).
5. Two critical words: Thank You.
6. Let people feel the weight of who you are and let them deal with it.
With the above in mind, CCS prepared me for the future through the guidance of the teachers and staff. I had many “Solomons” at CCS, and I am thankful for each one of them. Not only were they people who helped me in life, but they are the reason that I wanted to go into teaching and be an example to my own students.
CCS: What is a favorite memory of your time at CCS?
LH: To pinpoint a specific memory at CCS is really difficult. I attended CCS since fifth grade and there are hundreds of memories I could choose from. I think, if I had to choose, I would pick the Senior Retreat. I was able to help plan it as a Senior ASB officer and to see all of us seniors coming together and just being able to spend time with one another outside of school was a very fun experience. On top of that, reading all our senior letters will be something I will never forget. I still have all my letters and it was an emotional afternoon reading those, not only for me, but for all of my classmates. But that is just one memory of hundreds I could choose from.
CCS: What do you appreciate about your time at CCS?
LH: What I appreciate most about my time at CCS are the friendships that I still have from high school, not only my friends, but their families as well. I had many CCS friends come to my wedding or be a part of my wedding and I will always be thankful for the friendships that I have made at CCS. They are life long friendships that mean so much to me and I thank God for them.