Elisha Strawser has become stronger through her family, God, soccer, and service

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Passion. Most people have it in one way or another, but it’s the drive and dogged determination to fulfill that passion that is most inspiring. Freshman Elisha Strawser is driven. She is driven by her unflinching pursuit of God, soccer, serving others and an uncanny amount of toughness; in every way, she strives to do her best.

“Soccer is a big commitment, but it makes me stronger,” Elisha said. “It teaches you to be sportsmanlike and a team player.”

Like many other kids, she began her involvement with soccer at a very young age. However, unlike most kids, her love for soccer was nurtured through the encouragement of her parents who are both soccer coaches and her brothers who also play soccer.

“My parents have supported me a lot because they’re both coaches,” Elisha said. “[Physically], I like my mom’s coaching style better, but [mentally], my dad has helped me because I can be a pretty [bossy] player. As a Christian coach [for Cornerstone University], he is not at all about [bossing others around]. He’s used to being around college players who do whatever they can to be a team that is united through Christ.”

Among many other aspects of her life, she has grown a great deal as a person and in her faith through soccer over the years.

“God has played a role in soccer for me,” Elisha said. “He has taught me to trust that everything happens for a reason and that He has a plan for me.”

Ultimately, Elisha’s love and trust in God led her to countless new opportunities locally and globally. Two summers ago, she ventured on a life-changing trip where she served in impoverished areas in Africa alongside her family and other volunteers.

“We helped kids [and families] by giving them bed nets and playing soccer with them,” Elisha said. “Everyone there is dirty; none of them are clean because there’s no clean water. They live on $5 a week, and they have at least seven people in their family most of the time. They have nothing that can help the malaria, so they just die because of it. A [typical] family of seven only has two bed nets.”

The experience she gained from the trip had a lasting impact on her that completely reversed her worldview and opened her eyes to the disconnect around the world.

“Seeing how much I actually have and how bratty I was– to be wanting so much more than these people could even dream of [made an impact on me],” Elisha said.

Through both her faith and making a difference on her soccer team and in Africa, she has grown into a person with a passion for helping others around her and being her best self

“There’s so much that we take for granted here,” Elisha said, “but in any way I can, I just want to make a difference and help people around me.”

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