Rewriting her story: Lamica Simmons, Class of 2015
Posted: Apr 29, 2014
When her youth pastor and his wife took Lamica Simmons to Olivet's Purple and Gold Days, she announced, “Guys, I’m going to go to Olivet.”
Her first name may be a phonetic combination of both of her parents’ names, but Lamica Simmons credits her tenacious spirit to the influence of a single mom.
“I learned about independence and autonomy at a young age,” says Lamica, who spent her childhood in Kalamazoo, Mich. “My mom didn’t have a lot of time to dote on us because she was busy providing for us.” Lamica has six siblings total and attributes their closeness to her mom’s hard work to keep the kids together.
Mirroring her mom’s never-give-up attitude, Lamica will cross the stage next year as a member of the Class of 2015 — the first in her family to graduate from college.
Discovering life at the lake
In the sixth grade, Lamica moved down the road from Indian Lake Nazarene Camp. “That’s where I first heard about Nazarenes,” she says.
And it was there that she accepted Christ into her life in the seventh grade. Working at the camp every summer since the age of 14, she says she can show anyone the exact spot on the “big stony altar” where she surrendered her life.
“A lot of my tears have been shed on that altar,” she says.
Maintaining her faith hasn’t always been easy, however; Lamica is the only Christian in her home.
“It’s hard to talk to my family about struggles, because they have such a different view on things,” she says. “But I love my family, and as I have been growing in my faith, it has been a ministry to them.”
The journey to Olivet
Everyone at camp wanted her to go to Olivet when the time for college approached, but Lamica resisted due to faith struggles she experienced during her senior year of high school. When her youth pastor and his wife took her to Purple and Gold Days, however, they were on the road home for less than an hour before she announced, “Guys, I’m going to go to Olivet.”
Lamica is now a junior and a double major in psychology and business. She hopes to attend grad school and eventually work within the field of medical administration or sustainable studies.
A different story
Since coming to Olivet, she has been inspired by psychology professor Dr. Kristian Veit. “In every class, he makes sure to glorify God in every way,” she says. She benefits from the specific prayers he offers in class and says that they always speak right to her heart, leaving her nothing else to say but, “Alright God, I hear you.”
Lamica has learned from Dr. Veit that it is important to hold on to Christian principles in a secular world.
“It is a dangerous world, and we need good people like Lamica out there to say, ‘Let me tell you what happened to me,’” says Dr. Veit.
“Everyone has a different story,” says Lamica. “The good thing is that God meets us where we are.”
Dr. Veit recognizes the value of Lamica’s story and says that she is an “absolute joy.”
“She works hard, and she wants to ‘get it’. She wants to succeed. Lamica is going to do the work and take responsibility.”