2021 Senior Spotlight: Elijah Cox

I was born in Redlands, California. My father had been a teacher but felt led to ministry work. He found ministry opportunities in Michigan. When I was little, we moved to Grand Rapids.

It was a difficult time financially, but we put our faith in God’s calling. The Potter’s House (TPH) school was a good place to start my education. It was affordable, Christ-centered, and close to the apartment complex where I grew up.

I have been at TPH since preschool. I have come to understand and appreciate what the school stands for. There are differences that are important. Recently, I went to a neighborhood school to attend a basketball game. The lack of diversity and Christ-centeredness was so evident. For me, both are important aspects of life, which are often overlooked. 

I have fond memories of TPH teachers being open and kind. They encouraged my creativity. My 8th-grade teacher, Mr. Grell, noticed my interest in history. He allowed me to teach a history class on World War I. For the past few years, I have gone back to his classroom to teach that class. In high school, Mr. Colago, Mr. Cole, and Mr. Luginbill valued conversation and personal growth. I like teachers who go against the norm and dive into the personal level with students. 

Through the bus driver, Mr. Cegelis, I received a better appreciation for other jobs in a school. One day, in my junior year, I missed the bus. Mr. Cegelis came back to the high school to give me a ride to the middle school. As we drove back, he told me about his life and asked me about mine. It was an eye-opening moment. It showed me that school isn’t just the teachers, but is also the students, custodians, librarians, bus drivers, etc. It is an ecosystem of youth growth.

Growing up in a church where there was a lot of outreach to the homeless, and to younger kids, has impacted me. I like connecting with people who are different from the average Christian. I get to see changes in people’s lives. That makes me want to be a part of their journey of walking with Christ. 

TPH prepares you for the future and strengthens you as a Christian. Being in ministry and being at TPH have fed off of each other. It’s been a natural fit. I find myself growing close to people, wanting to know them. 

I plan to attend Grand Rapids Community College for two years and then transfer to Cornerstone University to major in history.