Abby Stuckey

Finding a place to serve

If there is one thing Abby Stuckey knows and loves, it is service.

Abby Stuckey The sophomore from Dalton says helping others is something she learned from an early age.

"I grew up in the church, and my parents have always been very service-oriented, " she says. "Whenever opportunities like mission trips arose, I was there. I wanted to help people."

While she was in high school at Christian Heritage School, she spent a month for two summers in South Africa as part of a service-learning trip.

"We worked with people of all ages," she says. "We even went to a nursing home, where we sang for the residents and talked with them. It was really great."

The group also visited schools and area slums, where they were able to provide meals.

"For some of them, it was the only real meal they had that week," she says. "It was such a blessing to be able to do that."

Having that background in service, Abby was intrigued by an opportunity presented to her during her freshman year at the college.

"Blair Tolbert (Director of Student Ministries) suggested I go on the Christmas in the City service trip to Nashville. I thought, 'Why not? It's only a couple of days. It will be fun.' "

Abby says the group visited several churches in Nashville to learn about the different ways they all minister to their community. One particular place moved her and opened her eyes.

"We went to a church one night where the majority of the congregation is homeless. It was very much an inner-city church," she says. "We were able to do some Christmas crafts with them and had the chance to talk with them. It was great to learn that we can help people who are not that far from home. We don't have to go to Africa to find people who need our help."

However, it was this year's service trip to Savannah that truly touched her.

Abby Stuckey "I enjoyed Nashville so much that I decided to sign up for this year's trip in December," she says. "It was completely different from what we did the year before."

The group worked with a Savannah YMCA, where they helped wrap holiday gifts.

"They have a program where parents can come in and get Christmas presents for their kids that they normally couldn't afford, very similar to our Panther Toy Store."

Abby says that experience taught her humility.

"I've never had to worry about having Christmas presents on Christmas morning, but these kids do. You often don't realize that things like this happen in America. It was very humbling to be able to help these parents provide Christmas gifts for their children."

On campus, Abby has found ways to continue to serve, especially through her involvement with softball.

"I started playing T-ball when I was 4, and I grew up playing softball in middle and high school, and I also played on a travel team. It was just a way of life."

She says being a part of the Panther softball team has taught her a lot about helping others.

"A lot of times, it is the little things that matter the most – something as simple as a high five or encouraging words like 'Good job,' 'Don't worry about it' or 'You'll get it next time.' Coach (Jennifer) Claybrook (Athletic Director and Head Softball Coach) is always so encouraging and building people up. I think that is one of the most important things in building teamwork."

Abby also serves in a leadership role with the college's chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

"FCA is a great thing we have here, and it's for everyone – you don't have to be an athlete," she says. "We get together every other week for a student-led devotion and fellowship. I've made some really good friends through FCA."

Abby says the college's emphasis on transformation rings true with her.

"This college has changed me. Looking back at who I was in high school and looking at who I am today, I have really changed for the better. Everything I've done here has been to my  benefit. LaGrange College is an amazing place, and I am so glad I chose it."

Friends for the Journey

LaGrange College attracts the best and the brightest from all over the world. For example, our most recent incoming class consisted of men and women from 19 states and 10 countries, and included:

  • 76 members of Beta Club or the National Honor Society
  • 71 members of service organizations
  • 51 team captains in varsity sports
  • 25 leaders involved in student government, with 11 presidents
  • Three students involved in school publications, one as editor
  • Two Eagle Scouts
  • 20 musicians in band or orchestra
  • 18 singers in choir
  • 31 entertainers in performing arts
  • 85 students in religious activities.

But you don’t have to be a star in high school to succeed at LaGrange. Here, you’re given the opportunity to discover the best in yourself and find your destiny – all in a caring and supportive environment.