Joel currently resides and works in Washington, D.C. and is planning to serve overseas with South America Missions next year.
Joel Kearney had several different schooling experiences before coming to Cornerstone in 5th grade. Initially, he went to a private Christian school before his family decided to homeschool for 3 years. Even though they had been involved in a co-op with other homeschooling families, they decided it wasn’t the best schooling style for their family. Joel’s parents were set on their 5 children attending a private Christian school, so they explored Cornerstone. His parents felt like CCS would be the best environment for their children to grow in their faith and gain an education with accessible teachers and faculty and so they enrolled all 5 of them! Joel says, “Attending Cornerstone for the remainder of my elementary and high school career was such a big blessing in my life and I would not have wanted it any other way!”
One thing that Joel recalls about his time at Cornerstone is how the school felt like a community to him. He was able to know his classmates and teachers so well, and that was a great experience for him. Some of his favorite memories at Cornerstone were the high school retreats to Camp CONNRI, a group project reenacting Romeo and Juliet in Miss Mazz’s English class, the junior class trip to Gettysburg with Mr. Kirch, and his senior trip to the Jersey shore with Mr. Millington and Mrs. Clark.
After graduating from CCS, Joel attended Grove City College (GCC). He believes Cornerstone helped prepare him for college in many ways. GCC is known to be an academically rigorous school, and at CCS Joel was able to develop strong study habits. GCC is a Christian college where his faith was challenged, so it was a blessing to have a strong foundation for his beliefs that developed while at Cornerstone. CCS’s extracurricular activity opportunities, such as varsity soccer, basketball and the leadership program, made it feel natural to get involved with numerous organizations in college. He participated in a variety of ways including intramural sports, the orientation board, a national service fraternity called Alpha Phi Omega (APO), SEAD (Students Excited About Diversity), and the American Chemical Society. Joel graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in biology and a Minor in psychology.
Joel is currently living in Washington, D.C., and working at a biostatistics company as a Research Assistant. He helps create reports that doctors review to monitor the progress of cancer and disease studies. He also helps with the youth program at his church, and serves as a live events volunteer at National Geographic! Starting next year, Joel plans to move to Recife, Brazil, for 2+ years, where he will be serving alongside a Christian organization called South America Mission. His primary role will be to help lead a soccer and devotionals outreach program for young boys. He will likely be involved with their music ministry and outreach to juvenile delinquents as well. God has given Joel a heart to work with kids for His kingdom, and he’s excited to have that opportunity in Brazil. He says, “It is a truly awesome experience and a blessing to look back at where God has directed my life thus far and to know God’s got my future in His hands!”
Joel is demonstrating that following God’s call is an exciting adventure! Our mission at CCS is “to engage and educate young people to know Christ and be equipped to impact the world for God’s Kingdom.” We rejoice that Joel, along with many of our alumni, are achieving that goal!
If you know other alumni who would like to share their stories with us, please have them contact Dawn Snellenberger at email@example.com.