Alumni Profile: Anna Darling
Class of 2019 Spotlight: Anna Darling
Dedicated Missionary and Thespian
Anna Darling is one of the first students to have spent her entire school career at AFA. Over the last thirteen years, Anna has blessed the teachers and students alike with her engaging smile and contagious laughter, and she has played an active role since her first day in kindergarten. She is well known for her strong work ethic and school spirit, projecting both kindness and enthusiasm. She genuinely cares for others and takes the time to learn more about them. A devoted friend, she offers her support and encouragement in many forms, including hugs and encouraging notes. She welcomes new students to AFA with open arms.
When asked to recount her favorite AFA memory, Anna replied, “How can I choose? Maybe senior year can count as one moment? I loved spirit week, but maybe my favorite memory was growing closer to my class and Mrs.Mathwin as we worked on thesis. The camaraderie!!! It really does make a difference and makes you feel loved and appreciated, whether you need a hug, a round of applause, or a friend.”
Anna has shared her many special talents with the AFA community. She sang for the arts competition and with the worship team, acted in multiple plays, wrote creative songs and poems for her class for spirit week, played on the volleyball team, and twirled on the ballroom dance floor. Active in the house system, Anna’s role as Rome’s House Assistant gave her another opportunity to do what she does best-connect with others, show her school spirit, and display her creativity.
Anna says that the academic environment at AFA always pushed her “forward towards excellence.” She explains that “even small assignments at AFA make you think. Even the small assignments require you to be honest about who you are. Even the small assignments change you a little each time you do one. You can’t be bored or uninterested or shallow without consequences. Everything counts, whether it be grades or a chance to grow and change.”
To her credit, Anna is not afraid to speak up and share her opinion in any discussion. Her greatest achievement at AFA was her senior thesis, and she displayed courage and determination during the entire process. “I chose a topic way out of my league. I picked this topic because I didn’t know much about it and wanted to learn more. Although some people may have thought it was too big of a topic and that I wouldn’t be able to handle it, I never gave up and pushed through until the end.”
Anna’s favorite class at Ad Fontes was Apologetics. She stressed that the class taught her “how to be a Christian in a world where Christianity is not very popular. Apologetics helped me understand that there are so many people who suffer in the world and inspired me to work with Youth with a Mission to do what I can to help with the power I have been given.”
In July Anna embarked on a new adventure to Hawaii, where she began the Youth with a Mission Discipleship Training School. There she will learn about discipleship and then be sent to a specific location to carry out missionary work. When Anna returns from this program in December, she plans to intern at Ad Fontes and then attend Randolph-Macon College in the fall of 2020 to study psychology and criminology.
Anna’s enthusiasm for Christ and people, combined with her tireless work ethic, will be a gift to any community.
By Ellie Houser, Class of 2019