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Servant Leadership winners plan to help inner city youth and start a church

Posted: Apr 21, 2016

2016-04-21ServantLeadershipAward

Esther Paek and Jared Richey, both juniors, were nominated by faculty, staff and fellow students to receive Olivet’s annual David and Ella Elwood Servant Leadership Award.

One of the two juniors named outstanding servant leaders for 2016 at Olivet Nazarene University plans to minister to inner city youth, and the other plans to plant a church in his hometown.

Esther Paek and Jared Richey were nominated by faculty, staff and fellow students to receive Olivet’s annual David and Ella Elwood Servant Leadership Award. The honor recognizes juniors who demonstrate the qualities of a servant’s heart. As part of the award, each recipient receives $1,000, $250 of which is donated to the charity of his or her choice.

Paek is a computer science and religious studies major from North Chesterfield, Virginia. She has served as class chaplain; volunteered with Compassionate Ministries, Youth for Christ and youth ministry at College Church of the Nazarene; served as a camp counselor and as a team member on a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic; and completed an internship with Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.

After graduation, she plans to continue her education in religious studies and prepare for local church ministry with a focus on inner city youth.

“My greatest burden is for the marginalized and impoverished of this world,” Paek said in response to her nomination. “My encounter with God and His love changed my life.”

Richey, a pastoral ministry major from Lafayette, Indiana, is a three-year member of the University’s Preaching Ambassadors program. His leadership team conducts an evening worship service on campus for students. He also serves as an intern at College Church of the Nazarene and leads an Alpha discussion group for college students. He assists the district superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene’s Chicago Central District by leading monthly informational/training meetings for those interested in planting churches. After graduation, he and his wife, Macy, plan to plant a church in Lafayette.

“A servant leader is serving God and others,” Jared said in response to his nomination. “As servants, we posture ourselves on our knees in prayer, obey and submit to God.”

The Servant Leadership Award program is funded by the David and Ella Elwood Foundation to promote and foster servant leadership in the Olivet community and around the world. Dr. David Elwood is a clinical psychologist and the founder of Elwood Staffing Services, Inc., a leading provider of talent-based solutions. Ella Elwood is a Century 21 real estate agent in Columbus, Indiana. They have been married for 59 years and have three sons and eight grandchildren.

“The Elwoods represent all the qualities we celebrate as an Olivet community,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “Their lives remind us that success is not just about the bottom line, but about relationships and achieving a higher purpose.”

For more information about Olivet’s undergraduate degree programs, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.
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Olivet's School of Education is among the top six largest producers of teachers among all Illinois colleges and universities.