Bearden senior to participate in Youth With A Mission next semester


Bearden senior Olivia Campbell went on a mission trip to Shanghai in 2018, and she will start a new one in January when she heads to Los Angeles.

Abby Ann Ramsey, Entertainment Editor

As the students of the class of 2019 wrap up the semester and prepare for the next, one student packs her bags in preparation for a six-month long mission trip.

Starting in January, senior Olivia Campbell will participate in Youth With A Mission, also known as YWAM, a non-denominational ministry program that invites youth to go on mission trips all over the world.

Campbell had heard about the program from Bearden alum Megan Kerr, who participated in 2017. She thought it sounded like the perfect way to spend her time before going to college.

“During the fall semester of my junior year, I felt really unsettled in all aspects of life: school, home, and even just Knoxville as a whole,” Campbell said. “I felt called to ‘go’ somewhere and do something more with my life.”

She will be stationed at YWAM’s Compassion Discipleship Training School (DTS) in Los Angeles, but will be sent to a different country in March. She does not know where this will be, but students at the Compassion school have been sent to Costa Rica and the Philippines, among others, in recent years.

Graduating a semester early can feel shocking, especially going straight from school to all the way across the country and then to another country after that.

“It feels kind of crazy to be graduating early,” Campbell said. “All of my friends are getting ready for their next semester as I am packing up my life, literally.”

Despite this, she looks forward to having this exciting opportunity that allows her to experience parts of the world she has never seen before.

“It is weird to think that my time at Bearden is done, but I am very ready for it to be over,” Campbell said. “I love Knoxville, but I really want a change in scenery, and I want to meet people from all over the world.”

Leaving Knoxville can be difficult, as she will be forced out of her comfort zone with new surroundings, but Campbell feels prepared for the challenges she will face.

“I like consistency and ‘sameness,’ but my life is about to be completely different for six months,” Campbell said. “I will have to get ready for inconsistency.”

Although YWAM will present its challenges, Campbell also feels prepared to use her strengths on the trip in order to make connections with people from many different countries.

“I think it will be easy for me to make friends with all of the new people I will meet,” Campbell said. “Everyone else in the DTS has the same mindset as me, so it will be easy to relate to them.”

Overall, Campbell is extremely ready for a change of scenery and hopes to broaden her horizons with Youth With A Mission.

“I hope to gain a larger perspective on life,” Campbell said. “I want to go to college with a more comprehensive view on how the world works and how religion plays a role in other cultures.”

Anyone can buy a shirt designed by Olivia’s sister and Bearden alum Natalie Campbell, through the link below, in order to help her raise money for the mission trip.