Today, we wanted to spotlight the story of one of our students, Zach Bitner, from the perspective of his mother. Her intimate insights provide an example of the change we see young men like Zach go through after our Crucible Camp and with our unique discipleship-focused approach to all male Christian education.
Perspective from Jen Bitner, Zach's mother:
Early last year we started the process of applying to Iron Academy for Zachary to attend for his Freshman year. From the initial visit on campus with the students, faculty, and tour with Mr. Hahn, God has assured us that Iron is a gift that we are privileged to provide for Zachary.
He came back from his first Iron experience at Crucible Camp changed.
We have seen him develop more leadership and confidence in these few short months. He's always been a high connector and one who thrives on relationships and given Iron's intentionality about discipling these young men, there is notable growth in Zach. Though academics can be a bit challenging for Zach, he has shown more grit than ever before. He too notices a difference and in his words, "I feel like I'm better at getting my stuff done. There aren't many distractions. I like always being active and having a school behind me if I need them." This year Zach has been more engaged with assignments and taking ownership with homework and test preparation as a result of the culture and integrity Iron Academy has been developing in him.
Zach has a high level of "active demonstration" that fuels his ability to stay grounded. The fact that Iron recognizes these needs of young men and channels this in a biblical context is another game-changer for Zach's development. Whether it had been on the cross country course or navigating the Beast, competing with his classmates for time, the discipleship of a Christ-centered heart is already showing through. Zach has shared many accounts at dinner of the cross country team rallying around their brothers, supporting and encouraging each other to make sure everyone "finishes." He enjoys going to school and our prayer is that he continues to see his worth and God's plan for his life.
(VIDEO: Click and watch this short video we filmed recently about Crucible Camp and how it helps forge our new students to "Never Give Up.")
As seen in this Crucible Camp video, students like Zach learn to "Never Give Up." To be men who never surrender; who fight for and never give up on their studies, their families, their neighbors, their fellow students, or their King. They learn to bend, but not break.
We are already at 46% of our #FinishStrong matching grant fundraising goal!
Thanks to a generous donor, every gift you give until December 31st will be matched and have its impact doubled! Can you make a donation today to help us take advantage of the full $25,000 grant amount?
If you believe in Iron Academy's call to disciple boys into Christ-serving young men like Zach, would you consider making a needed end of year donation of $25, $50, $100, or more today to help us take advantage of this generous grant and help us finish the year financially strong by doubling your financial impact?
Together, we build men who never give up.