AA Senior Tyler G. Delivers Chapel Talk
2018, February 20 – “Just make some friends,” Tyler G. told himself on his first day at Amelia Academy in the seventh grade. It was not that easy, Tyler said in his Chapel Talk, delivered on February 14. However, he did eventually make the friends whom he now considers part of his family.
After that somewhat overwhelming first year, his friend John Bollinger enrolled at the Academy, and Tyler joined the ninth-grade class halfway through eighth grade. In his opinion, the students who would become his best friends “didn’t look on me fondly” that year.
Tyler recalled a text message he sent to fellow classmate Travis Bowlin in the summer before tenth grade. “I texted Travis and said, ‘Hey, Travis, we should hang out’ to which Travis replied, “I don’t know you or talk to you.” Tyler said that he persevered, and Travis finally said, “fine.” The two became good friends, and Tyler expressed his gratitude for that friendship.
It was during his sophomore year that Tyler was introduced to Jonathan Bowman, the leader of Amelia’s Young Life group. “He turned out to be one of my best friends and biggest role models.”
His friend group also expanded in the tenth grade to include Caleb Graber. “These three guys were some of the best friends I have ever had,” said Tyler.
He also credited friends Brianna G. and Gillian C. for the advice and support they have given him through the years. As for his friend Allison J., he said that “she has impacted my life more than any other person outside my immediate family.”
Even though his friendships have made a significant impact, Tyler said that his sister, mother, and father have been the constant presence in his life thus far. He witnessed his sister Brooke battle cancer when she was thirteen, “having full faith in God that He would get her through . . .she overcame death itself, and I am so thankful she is here watching me today.”
Tyler paid a special tribute to his parents, Tanya and Luke G. Tyler said that his Dad “has shown through his actions how to be a husband and father.” He admires his mother for all that she has done, including “writing books and preaching around the nation.” She has given him advice in “every area of my life,” he said.
His family also now includes his Aunt Amy and cousin, Samantha, an AA junior. Tyler said he loves Sam like a sister, and he has learned much from his Aunt Amy but, “most importantly, she has taught me how to be strong in the face of hardship.”
As a student at the Academy, Tyler has been an active participant in a wide range of programs. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Academy’s Scholastic Bowl team. He has served as secretary for the Student Government Organization (SGO), and represents the senior class in the SGO this year. Tyler has played basketball, baseball, and cross country, both at the junior varsity and varsity level.
All the aforementioned family and friends were present for Tyler’s Chapel Talk. They and members of the senior class attended a reception following the program.