Travis Gift '99
Travis Gift ‘99 attended LCCC for business after graduating from ODCS. Of his time at ODCS, Travis says, “I literally grew up at ODCS – Kindergarten through Senior year. The staff at ODCS is an awesome team, now and then. It provided me an excellent education that I am still benefiting from today.” He is currently the Assistant Quality Manager at Technifab where he helps develop multiple product lines for major aerospace customers. He helped grow Technifab from a $2 million company in 2007 into a $45 million company today. Travis is currently responsible for the entire quality management system and maintaining the company's industry certificate. Certified as a RAB/QSA auditor, he is working to obtain a business degree as Technifab's business needs are changing. Outside of work, Travis says he is “active at Christ Church in Elyria, playing guitar with the praise band, just like I did so many years ago in school and youth group.” Travis and his wife of 13 years, Heidi, have three amazing boys: Jackson, Lucas, and Nathan. “ODCS helped ground me in my faith and, as a result, my faith is strong and continues to grow. I understand His unbreakable grace, and how He accepts me with open arms every day!”
Andrea (Vasilevski) Osmun ‘01
Andrea (Vasilevski) Osmun ‘01 attended Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, earning a B.A. in Professional Writing. During college she interned as a business reporter at the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel and Fort Wayne Business Weekly. After graduating, Andrea worked as a reporter for various newspapers. She married Keith in June 2006, and their daughter Kamryn, now a Kindergartner at ODCS, was born in June 2011. After Kamryn was born, Andrea decided to stay at home with her and work as a freelance writer for various organizations, which she has been doing ever since. Continuing to build her career as a freelance writer, Andrea says, “I'm thankful for a career that allows me to work from home, independently, and pursue my interests. I love writing features, and I've written a lot of music profiles, the most recent being a feature on Christian music artist Natalie Grant, which is in the March/April issue of Focus on the Family.”
Andrea is really grateful for her time here at ODCS. “I went to public school for my elementary school years, and I saw a huge difference at ODCS: The education was more challenging and I was thankful to be in an environment where people wanted to honor God.” She says her favorite memory was being in band where she played the bells, marimba, and vibraphone. “There was a group of us "percussion" girls who got together one year and performed our own bell ensemble (Amanda (Taylor) Yarsa, Emily Snodgrass, and Jill Fuleki). That was a blast!” In addition to band, Andrea says she learned a lot from Mr. Russ and Mrs. Enlow, “They taught me the basics of journalism which became the foundation for my career. Journalism class was another great creative outlet for me, and that's where I realized I wanted to pursue a career in writing. Dr. Rhodes (my history teacher) also encouraged me in this when he graded my term paper. It meant a lot to me that he confirmed my talent in writing and encouraged me to pursue it as a career.
When asked about her current pursuits, Andrea said, “I'm always working on building my career as a freelance writer. I'm also interested in business writing and am currently writing for Hot Spring Spas and Smart Retailer magazine. My college professor encouraged me to pursue as many different genres and interests as we could with my writing, so I've also done some editing and proofreading and recently took up copywriting. Someday I hope to write books, and I've been attending a lot of writers' conferences lately to meet editors and agents and improve on my craft.
Over the past couple of years, I've also taken up an unexpected, new creative outlet that has challenged me to get out of my comfort zone quite a bit. A friend of mine from college invited me to a Jamberry party on Facebook, and I fell in love with the product. Six months later, I decided to join the company as an independent consultant, and it's been so much fun for me. I've been learning a lot more about entrepreneurship (beyond being a freelance writer), and I have made friends with some amazing, supportive women all over the country. This has been a huge, unexpected blessing for myself and my family. I'm really grateful for the opportunities God has given me to be my creative, introverted self and be a force for good in the world.”
Dr. Daniel Pierre '99
The Patriot Honors Academy had the privilege of attending their semester seminar with ophthalmologist Dr. Daniel Pierre ‘99, as the guest speaker. Students had the opportunity to learn what the educational journey of a medical doctor involves, as well the importance of waiting on the Lord in facing every life decision. He focused his remarks around Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Daniel explained, “Don’t follow your heart like the rest of the world advises--this isn’t Disney! You must be grounded in and submitted to God’s Word above all other factors when planning out your life.”
He shared about his pathway to becoming a doctor. After testing his passion for the medical field by experience as an EMT/firefighter, and working a doctor’s office, he had another 13 years of training after high school through college, medical school, residency, and a subspecialty fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology. He encouraged our students to spend time shadowing various professionals in order to figure out what they really do and don’t like. He stressed that a little bit of thought now will make a big difference later, but that most important of all is to first trust and obey the Lord, and pray for wisdom and guidance as life’s circumstances unfold.
Daniel also listed qualities that are important in becoming a doctor: one must like studying, love people, have a lot of nerve, be humble, have an outgoing personality, communicate well, have the patience to teach others, be a problem solver, and be observant. It was evident that Daniel loves what he does, but more than anything, he loves God with all of his heart—and challenged the students to do the same as they prepare themselves for the rest of the life on this earth and, more importantly, for eternity. Thank you, Daniel, for spending time with us and for mentoring our students!