Organization Spotlight: Third Connect Kid Connect

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Baptist Student Ministry held an “Aloha Mixer” showcasing its different ministries within the BSM on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. The event provided incoming freshmen and transfer students the opportunity to meet people, get information and find an organization in which they can get involved.
Among these organizations was Third Culture Kid (TCK) Connect. TCK Connect gives American students who grew up overseas the chance to make friends with similar backgrounds when coming to the states for college. The students in this organization all grew up in foreign countries and returned to America for college.
Rebekah Wainwright, junior International Business major and leader of TCK Connect grew up overseas.
“I was born in Cyprus and lived in Uzbekistan, Syria, England and Turkey. It was definitely hard to move away from places I called home. It was also difficult to make new friends because of the language barrier moving to a new country presents,” Wainwright said. “Even in places where people speak English, I have to work around people not understanding how multi-cultural I am. I look and sound like I was born and raised in the USA, but there are still several things I don’t understand about the culture.”
Wainwright is not the only student at UMHB who grew up in a foreign country.
Several students at UMHB come from missionary or military families who served overseas. Moving to a different country to attend college can be quite nerve-racking and may lead to some severe culture shock.
“It is hard to find people who you can connect with about living overseas because some people don’t understand. Coming to a school in America from a different country is very hard to adjust to,” Wainwright said.
While moving to a different country can be very stressful, TCK Connect provides a fun, love-filled environment for students to adjust to living in America after growing up in a foreign country.
“Freshman year as a TCK (Third Culture Kid) can be extremely rough, primarily because it’s hard to find people who can relate to you about living overseas” Wainwright said.
TCK Connect was established in the spring of 2018 with only eight members and has since grown to have 20 members. TCK Connect is looking forward to welcoming new members as the semester starts, with 15 freshmen who showed interest in joining TCK Connect.
“We are very excited to welcome new members!”, Wainwright said. “Seeing this community of TCKs connecting and growing is awesome because it will make their journey through freshman year a lot easier,”.
“The Mixer was really great; we met at the same time as the International Student Mixer and I talked to eight people who were interested in joining TCK Connect”, Wainwright said. Another event the ministry has is a cookout at the end of the semester for all Third Culture Kids on UMHB’s campus.
“Sometimes we have discussions and sometimes we just hang out and play games or watch movies,” Wainwright said.
“I am really excited to see how much this ministry will grow”, Wainwright said. “It has already grown so much since taking off last semester, and I can’t wait to see where we will go next.”
TCK Connect meets every Friday night at 6 p.m. Visit the TCK Connect Facebook page or the UMHB BSM for more information.

Author: Bri Bullion

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