Safeena Kassoo, Copy Editor

Read the Seminole‘s exclusive interview with Cheyanne Hardy!

As thousands of students acclimate to campus life for yet another calendar year, Seminole High School alumna Cheyanne Hardy is preparing herself for a journey quite unlike any other. Known as the World Race, this international mission trip tests the strengths and faith of its devoted challengers.

As quoted by Hardy, “The World Race is a mission trip where you respond to a calling to serve the entire world, or at least 11 countries of it, within the frame of 11 months. You leave your worldly comforts and securities at the door and embrace the unexpected.” While typical mission trips cover one to two months, the World Race is a longer expedition, therefore a more challenging one. Hardy continued to say, “It’s an adventure, and outlet to meet, share, and grow with some incredible people, and a life-giving, soul-energizer all in one.”

Why establish such an extensive mission? The answer is simple: to approach the world with bravery and begin the change for a greater good. Like any mission, the World Race is meant to accomplish global support, so that each country in need is met with the assistance they deserve. “The goal of the World Race is that nations across the world will be able to hear, see, and experience the beauty and wonder and hope of the Gospel of Jesus,” said Hardy.

Thousands of people participate in the World Race in an effort to offer help and carry a spiritual message through destitute nations. According to Hardy, “The World Race is a fairly large scale missions organization. As far as my personal race goes, I am on a squad of 63 people currently. Out of those 63 people, we all travel to the same countries, but are broken up into teams of six, seven, or eight.”

Hardy is on a team of 7 (including herself) and they refer to themselves as Team Pursuit. Training Camp is required for all teams, and entails nine days of preparation for the trip. During this time, team members are expected to discuss cultural ministry training, learning to share stories, and learning to live together as a community. She continued, “I’ve known them and hung out with them for a week at Training Camp this past July and I already feel like we’re a giant family.”

As outlined by her route, Hardy will be visiting the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda. Her collective journey is a work in progress that began this summer. Hardy said, “The Journey begins now with getting prepared and trusting that funds come in, but I depart for Guatemala, the first destination on my trip, on September 5.” Included in these preparations are “praying, and mainly just trying to raise support and collecting necessary gear like backpacks, a tent, and all that fun stuff.”

It’s no surprise an excursion of this degree requires a substantial amount of funds. Hardy is currently in the process of writing, sending out support letters, and brainstorming other fundraiser ideas. A total of $15,000 must be raised on Hardy’s behalf. However, she handles the situation as any courageous ‘Nole would: “Although there are days where I am discouraged by my current lack of funds, I’m definitely trusting that the Lord will provide through givers’ selfless and thoughtful donations.”

Hardy, a proud ‘Nole and member of the Class of 2009, became acquainted with the World Race program when “[her] friend back in 2011 had applied to it, was accepted, and departed this past July and told [her] all about it knowing [she’d] be interested.” The venture was one that appealed to Hardy from the beginning, as she says, “I already feel called to overseas mission as it is.

This exceptional ‘Nole has also participated and other community services prior to the World Race. This past year, Hardy was on youth staff at a local church, where she mentored and shared life with “a group of awesome middle school girls.” Hardy continued to say, “I’ve always been involved with youth group ever since high school.”

Hardy was also a member of CRU, otherwise known as Campus Crusade for Christ. “It was such a blessed organization to be a part of. I loved it,” she says. Her other activities include Fellowship of Christian athletes in college and Student Venture at SHS.

As an SHS alumna, Hardy is proud to represent her alma mater throughout the course of her trip. She says, “Seminole High has made a huge impact on my life. Yes, I learned a lot academically. However, I came away from that school with so much more than just academics. Seminole High isn’t just a school institution; we’re a family deeply rooted in love and respect for each other.” Suffice to say, a ‘Nole never forgets their roots.

Cheyanne’s journey begins on September 5. For more information, check out her blog and follow her through this tremendous process.