Making the decision to change high schools and choosing a military boarding school
"Life takes us all on roads of unexpected twists and turns. Some of those crazy roads lead us into valleys of really tough times and others take us to the top of the highest peaks of joy. Most often, these roads are a combination of the two. It’s hard to truly appreciate the impact of one without the other. I believe that’s all part of God’s plan.
Choosing to switch high schools half way through Noah’s junior year wasn’t easy. In fact, it was one of the hardest decisions ever but it was one of the very best decisions. The transition was difficult, the first semester had lots of ups and downs and there were many adjustments to our every day lives. No one can fully understand what it is like to have your teenage child move away from home much earlier than ever anticipated unless one experiences it themselves. It was life changing for all of us in every regard. I learned more about sacrifice and letting go than I ever imagined. I know I wouldn’t have made it through the tough times had it not been for the love and support of my family, friends and those that traveled the road before me. In order for Noah to feel supported, I knew I had to be connected and involved as much as I possibly could. That’s not easy to do being two states away, but just as I have been involved in his schools since kindergarten, I was determined that being out of state wasn’t going to change my involvement. And making the most incredible, supportive and loving connections is where my MMA blessings began.
Above, Elizabeth and Noah Royse during a MMA Colonels football pep rally.
MMA has given Noah so much and continues to do so today. He has grown in ways I could not have ever imagined. Even during a pandemic, he was able to finish his senior year with in-person classes and had Graduation and Final Formation with his brothers, surrounded by faculty and staff that pushed him to be his best self, encouraged him to pick himself up when he fell and loved him unconditionally as only family can. Since then, Noah has worked the last two summers as a counselor at Leadership Camp. He gets as much out of camp, if not more, than the campers. Not only does he love being back on campus, he gets to make memories as counselors with several of his brothers, he reconnects with faculty and staff that have made such a difference in his life, and he has the opportunity to impact the youth around him and THAT is the grand prize.
As I look back on the valleys that we went through - the toughest of times that I wasn’t sure we would get through - I am so incredibly appreciative and grateful. The tough times led us to the highest peaks of joy. #MMAproud #MMAfamily"
— MMA alumni Elizabeth Royse. Her son Noah is a 2020 MMA graduate and will begin his sophomore year at Oklahoma University in Norman, OK, in fall 2021.
Below, Elizabeth Royse hugs son Noah during the Senior Ring Ceremony, Fall Family Weekend, during his senior year.
Below, photos of Noah Royse serving during 2021 MMA summer camp operations.