Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Behind the major with Sydni Smith: Leading the way to the Lord

Sydni Smith.

Sydni Smith is a sophomore working towards a bachelor of art degree while majoring in communications with an emphasis on mass communication at West Texas A&M University. Smith is from Lubbock and has been shown by the Lord another path in life to help and provide for others.

“I plan to go into a youth ministry full-time missionary work,” Smith said. “It’s the fastest way for me to graduate so that I could possibly go to seminary school or go to an internship I have lined up in Kentucky.”

Smith has always had a passion for talking with others as she is naturally an extrovert. However, it was the Lord who guided her on her path to serve in ministries.

“The Lord led me to pursue serving,” Smith said. “Fun fact about me is that last year, I was getting a bachelor of art in criminal justice and policing; I actually changed my major. I had a crazy dream over what my calling should be, and yeah, the Lord was like, ‘Hey, I think you’d be great at this [serving]’ and I have a heart for it. I think that’s what it takes: people’s heart for certain things. If you love what you’re doing, you know, you’re doing the right thing.”

Smith feels that serving in youth ministries is significant as it provides future generations with a Christ-centered community.

“Working in youth ministries is beneficial because to amp up and or grow with the next generation of kids going into like adulting, or even just life in general, it’s giving them that strong founded, Christ-centered community,” Smith said. “It’ll let them be able to depend on not only each [other] but as well as just beginning your relationship with the Lord because that’s when reality hits, as in real life, real-life examples like complications. Just start kids young on why the Lord should be your foundation, which is really important.”

Smith’s favorite part of working in the church is the connections made with people.

“My favorite part would have to be the connections with other people,” Smith said. “I love just hanging out and being able to talk to one another, being able to talk to kids and other adults and just bond with them. That’s something I liked whenever I was growing up was the kind of older person to hang out with, and just kind of like the mentor role. So that would definitely be my favorite thing.”

Instead of going straight to seminary school and choosing to pursue a collegiate degree, Smith felt dedicated to being the first in her family to graduate.

“I am dedicated to be the first sibling in my family to graduate,” Smith said. “My three siblings all dropped out of college and so actually debated going to seminary school or going to college. I plan on going to Asbury University in Kentucky, and in order to go, you have to have a bachelor of science or a bachelor of art. Also, I’m in no rush because I’m only 19, so just to learn from what the people at WT have to say is a huge thing. Like I’ll walk into my communication classes and feel like I won’t learn anything when, in reality, I’ve learned more on how to read and address people based on their gender, race, ethnicity, sex and different ages because you have to speak to different ages differently. If I want to be in the youth ministry, I have to speak to parents and kids, so I’ve got to learn how to properly address everyone.”

Attending Asbury University for seminary school sparked an interest in Smith after she attended their Awakening Project event.

“I really liked Asbury after I went to the awakening project this past May,” Smith said. “It’s a week-long adult trip, but it is at Asbury. They have a beautiful campus, and it’s also out of Texas. I have friends who are already in seminary there and after I talked to some of the professors, I got a good feeling for Asbury. I don’t honestly know if I will go to seminary, but my goal is to be ordained one day. I think it’s a huge deal, from being a female to being a black individual. There’s like a total of 10 black individuals in the country who have been ordained by a church. So that’s a huge thing I also thought about, but we’ll see.”

Another part of serving that Smith enjoys is going on mission trips.

“I’ve gone on a few mission trips out of the country,” Smith said. “This past summer, I went to Romania and I absolutely fell in love with these kids. I met this little boy named Marcus, and I actually gave him the shoes I was wearing because he didn’t have any. I just love those people and a piece of my heart is in Romania with these kids because it’s so heartbreaking but heart-fulfilling at the exact same time. I can see myself going back there and living there and just wanting to help out within and helping out the pastors. Or I’ve always thought about going back to my home, Jamaica, going back there to Kingston, where my father grew up, and helping out those kids as well. I can see myself doing long-term missionary work; I don’t ever see myself settling down.”

Smith’s goal in regard to serving youth ministries is to show people the Lord.

“I’m super extroverted and outgoing, so I might as well use it for a good reason,” Smith said. “I think one of my biggest and only fears would be if I interacted with somebody. I never saw them again and they didn’t know the Lord. For example, in Romania, there’s just a little boy, and his name is Junior. He sat next to me and it was late at night, about 1:30 in the morning. He was about to catch the bus to go home and if that bus were to crash and I was to never see that kid again and he didn’t know Jesus. I think, just honestly, driving for the Lord, just doing what he wants me to do but also getting people to know Him and understand Him. I also like to learn about the different races, ethnicities, cultures and learn more about other people’s religion, and just what they believe and why they do the things they do.”

Smith chose WT with no hesitation, considering Smith grew up around campus since her family members came here.

“I came to WT because my mom came here, my brothers came here and my brother played football here as well,” Smith said. “So, when I was younger, I fell in love with how beautiful the campus is. It’s also close enough to home if I need to go back but far enough away that my mom wouldn’t come visit every weekend.”

Since coming to WT, Smith has been given the opportunity to create a wonderful community.

“WT has given me the opportunity to find different people,” Smith said. “I found my best friend and my boy Clark, so new people and also the opportunity of getting to jumpstart my future career in youth ministry by getting involved with the church and the campus around. I just joined the Black Student Union (BSU), and just get to know other people, talk to other people and really try to be a light to literally every person around. WT has opportunities that are just everywhere and whether you take them or not, opportunity is how you grow.”

Smith’s favorite thing about WT is the people and community.

“My favorite thing about WT would have to be people and community,” Smith said. “You’ll never find the same person twice.”

Aside from academics, Smith is part of The Wesley, where she leads a bible study and is the events team coordinator. She also enjoys being involved with 13|30 and is part of the BSU. She recently interviewed to be a peer leader and will start Rogers LEAD next year. Outside of school, Smith enjoys hanging out with people, getting HteoO, doing anything outdoors, whether that’s playing basketball, volleyball or flag football, watching movies and binging her favorite show, Criminal Minds.

Smith believes that fellow believers should learn the Lord’s character to understand themselves better.

“To my fellow believers out there, learn the Lord’s character so you can learn your own,” Smith said. “So you can see more of what parts of the Lord’s character are highlighted in your life as well. To everyone, I think you should play to your strengths but learn how to play with your weaknesses as well. Another thing is don’t be afraid to explore and don’t be afraid to say yes to certain things because we do have one life and it might as well be fun. So, don’t sit there and just let the thought of fear of failure hold you back from an adventure because it could be a new door that’s open that you could miss out on.”

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About the Contributor
Kaelin Collar
Kaelin Collar, Junior Reporter, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Hi everyone! My name is Kaelin Collar, and I'm a sophomore majoring in biology on a pre-medical track from Oregon. I've been with The Prairie News for one year and am the current Associate Editor. Although I'm not pursuing a career in journalism, The Prairie News continues to improve my interpersonal, interviewing, writing, research and leadership skills that will benefit me in my future career. My career goal is to work in the surgical field, with neurology as my specialty. Aside from academics, I love to read, hike, work, go plant shopping, spend time with friends and family and be on the water. 

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