Hi! My name is Haydon Tucker. I came to Nashville almost a year ago to start my freshman year at Vanderbilt, but I found my way to PTM before I had even gone to all my classes.
After being heavily involved with tutoring and mentoring elementary school students in my hometown, Chattanooga, I wanted to continue similar work in my new city (and mostly, I missed hanging out with kiddos). I had a friend who had previously volunteered with PTM, and during the first week of school, I hopped in his car and ended up at St. Luke’s. It was there, over the course of the year, that I fell in love with the ministry of PTM, formed countless joy-filled friendships, and saw the Lord undoubtedly at work.
As the school year drew to a close, I felt that God was moving in my heart to stay at PTM and learn about and invest in their mission more over the summer. I so loved everything I observed about the ministry during the year and wanted to learn and grow along with them (and hang out with the students who had stolen my heart). I’m now working (and dreaming) with Nina (dream team!!) to plan different program-related activities for the summer and the fall, including, but not limited to, field trips and events, promotional and training videos, Fun Fridays, camps, and Dream Groups and activities.
If I had any expectations about what this summer would hold, each and every one has been abundantly exceeded. I have learned more about effective, gospel-centered ministry than I knew I could in such a short time, I have seen the Lord moving in small ways and big ones, I have received wise counsel and dear friendship from staff members and life lessons from students, and I have glimpsed a bit more of the Lord’s heart for reconciliation— He truly is calling all things back to himself. Being the programming intern has shown me the essentiality of behind-the-scenes service and the value in careful (and prayerful) planning.
The highlights of my day, every day, are the intermittent conversations I get to have with students who stop by my desk or run through the hallways or stop me on my way through the building or out the door. They are encouraging and challenging, simultaneously uplifting and difficult, and, oftentimes, hilarious. My favorite moments of the summer have been talking to students after returning from camp, whether it be Barefoot overnight or day camp, ballet class, Camp Wonderfully Made bible study—seeing the way that our students respond to new opportunity with excitement and eagerness is the sweetest thing.
If I could travel anywhere (the answer to this question changes based on the day), I’d go to Spain! I love spanish culture and language and would love to hike and explore all over the country.