[Editor’s note: An editing error resulted in the misspelling of T.J. Jan’s name. The story below has been corrected.]
For a school with an enrollment of just 28, Providence Hall has attracted an amazing array of students with a wide range of interests and activities.
Among them is a young man you would undoubtedly notice if you were to attend a Thursday morning chapel, one who enjoys the tasks of erecting a screen, setting up a projector, and testing the computer to which it is attached. Freshman T.J. Jan, who makes conquering technological innovations — and glitches — look deceptively easy and serves on the student Chapel Committee advised by Christopher Benson, is quietly helping prepare for weekly chapel.
Perhaps typical of most young men his age in his interest in electronics, including strategy and video games, Jan’s life contains an uncommon twist or two: He’s a fencer.
Involved in conditioning, training and tournament competition for a mere one year, Jan has become increasingly competitive in fencing and has qualified to enter the Junior Olympics this month in North Carolina. According to his mother, Angela Jan, however, he actually may skip the opportunity in favor of the fencing nationals competition, to be held in Portland in April. If he does, he’ll wait until next year to compete in the Junior Olympics.
Providence Hall faculty find Jan to be a hard-working, steady student who continually pushes himself toward his personal best, whether in work or play, and by example exhibits a quietly influential, natural leadership that his classmates readily observe. An honors student who discovered how much he enjoyed being part of outdoor drama in Humanities, his other interests run to the original Star Wars trilogy and the Lord of the Rings series, along with competitive board games.
Jan, who attends Calvary Chapel with his parents and sister, Christina, and actively participates in its high school youth group and events, has discovered a deep interest in missions, and a heart for the people of Thailand, in particular. A former student at Coastline Christian Academy in Goleta, he has twice had the opportunity to travel to Thailand, to an orphanage in Chang Rae as well as on medical outreach to remote villages. Interested in exploring a potential call by God to some form of missions, it is his intention to continue his service trips. Meanwhile, he continues to fill the role of a camp counselor in Calvary Chapel’s summer programs for youth.
Ronald M. Grosh is headmaster at Providence Hall, 33 E. Micheltorena St.