Being a graduate of Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI) remains a precious part of my life’s memory bank.
Moving into the dorm my Grade 11 year gave me a sense of independence and pride to be stepping into more freedom. At the time, I didn’t fully understand my parents’ thoughtful consideration in making this significant decision in releasing me into the loving care of the MCI community, but I am so glad they did!
I got a taste of managing my own time, schedule and responsibilities while learning to live with accountability away from my parents. Living at MCI also gave me the experience of claiming my faith in Jesus for my very own. Being surrounded by other students, and having teachers who wore their faith on their sleeve, forever marked my life.
Now, almost 20 years later, it became our turn as parents to wholeheartedly consider offering this unique opportunity to our children as we prayerfully weighed out the pros and cons.
Nearly two years into this COVID-19 pandemic we wanted, perhaps more than ever, to offer our children opportunities to do life in and with community. Lockdowns and cancelled events have been necessary, and yet we were eagerly keeping our eyes and ears peeled for doors to open for our children that would continue to engage their learning, spiritual growth and continue to fuel their passions of sports and music.
That’s when MCI came to mind.
Our eldest son, Eli, has just finished his first semester of living in the dorm while attending MCI, and we are so thankful that it has been all we were dreaming for —and then some!
It can feel tricky to wrap your head around sending a child to live at school before the more traditional timeline. We wrestled with this. Having regular and open communication as a family, and with the incredible staff both in the dorm and in the academic part of the school, has made this transition more peace-filled than we thought it might be.
It has been a joy to see Eli flourish with the opportunities that are at his fingertips. Cheering his teammates on to the volleyball provincials, sharing thoughts and opinions over a meal, impromptu floor hockey matches, listening and making music with fellow students, have all been good for the mind, body and soul.
Our family is excited to think about what the future holds as we step into the MCI community.
Julia (nee Hogue) Bergman graduated from MCI in 2002.