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Senior high school student at Holy Trinity intertwines her faith and school project to benefit local family shelter

When a young person’s faith intersects with a required school project, great things can happen. Miss Jenna Poling, a senior in the Upper Arlington school system and member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Upper Arlington, saw her Capstone Project requirement for her senior year as an extension of her faith and the work she and others had already begun at Holy Trinity. (Pictured below is their VBS class that brought in some of the items to be donated to the YWCA Family Center.)

YWCA Family Center Drive 3

Jenna chose the YWCA Family Center as the focus of her Capstone Project, organizing a special collection of goods and monetary donations needed by the center. When asked why she chose the YWCA Family Center, Jenna responded, ‘I chose this because I have volunteered at the Y-Family Center to help serve dinner to the families throughout middle school and again my junior year of high school. When I was there I started to notice how fortunate I am to have a great place to live, which made me realize that I wanted to help the temporarily homeless families there. I reached out to the director of the Y-Family Center and described what I wanted to do. Right away I was emailed a list of the most needed items and I took a tour of the facility. After that, I was sure that this was the right project for me. ‘

YWCA Family Center Drive 2

Jenna, a life-long member of Holy Trinity, has been involved in various service projects and ministries over the years, including Vacation Bible School, choir, and youth group, all of which prepared her to recognize the importance of serving the community and coming together as the body of Christ to do so. In Jenna’s own words, ‘This (being part of Holy Trinity) has also shaped the way I look at service in my community as something we should do because it helps to fill a need, and by working together, more is possible.’ 

What is your congregation doing to shape the hearts of your youngest members to recognize where they can be Christ in the world? If you have any young people combining their faith with their lives outside of the church, we’d love to hear your stories and share them.

YWCA Family Center Drive 1

As a reminder, Gary Pecuch, our Youth Ministry Coach, is available to help your congregation create a solid, outcome based youth ministry for all of your young people, regardless of the size of your congregation. Resources are also available on our website at There’s also a quick link from the synod website home page at

Thanks, Jenna for sharing your story with us and for sharing your love of Christ with your community!



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