Since transferring to Sandy Creek Christian Academy in seventh grade, Kevin Alvarado has been welcomed with open arms.
He immediately made friends, received a good education and was involved in a sport and other activities that will benefit him in the future.
"My mom brought the idea to me, and then she put us into that school," Alvarado said of he and his siblings moving to the Seymour school. "Once you go to a new school, it’s hard to make friends, but it was really easy here. They made you feel at home."
At 2 p.m. Saturday, Alvarado and five other seniors will participate in graduation at The Tabernacle in downtown Seymour.
They will perform their senior song, and Alvarado also will sing with the school’s choir before receiving his diploma.
Growing up, Alvarado attended Seymour-Jackson Elementary School and then went to Seymour Middle School Sixth Grade Center before transferring. That was when the school was known as Seymour Christian Academy and was located in the same building as The Tabernacle. In early 2017, it changed names and moved to Sandy Creek Drive.
In high school, Alvarado said his favorite class was algebra lab.
"It helps out a lot in math," he said. "If you’re having trouble, they just go over review and stuff like that."
He also said he has learned a lot in his other classes.
"I like how they cover the basics and how they go one-on-one and they know what you’re doing," Alvarado said. "In the classes, they just help you in everything. I was doing all right when I was in public school, but once I came here, they all cared about the grades, and they got me to where I’m at now. I kept getting higher and higher each level from ninth grade."
Going to a Christian school, he has been able to grow spiritually, too.
"Since we have chapel every Thursday and we have Bible classes Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, it has really helped me spiritually and in prayer life and Bible reading," he said. "We have to say a memory verse every week, so that has helped me a lot, too."
Since his freshman year, Alvarado has participated in basketball and choir.
"This whole school is all about basketball and volleyball, so at that point, I wanted to play basketball. They encouraged me, like, ‘Hey, play basketball,’ and they got me into it," he said.
Over the years, the team traveled to a few different places in Indiana to play, and there’s also an annual trip to the Ascend convention in Illinois during which there is a basketball tournament.
Alvarado said the Panthers placed third last year and fourth this year.
"It’s amazing. It’s a good trip," he said. "It’s a blast because we all get close together and we’re all like a family. It’s really fun."
He also performs with the school choir at the convention. This year, they placed second.
"This school is all about singing and everything," he said. "It’s amazing."
Through school, Alvarado has also regularly volunteered at Anchor House Family Assistance Center and Pantry in Seymour.
"It helps out a lot," he said. "I’m already used to it since I work with my dad. It’s an easy thing to me. I definitely think it’s normal to me."
After high school, Alvarado plans to enroll in a program at Cummins Seymour Engine Plant in which he will work and receive help paying for college classes.
"I’m looking forward to the new adventures and all that real-life experience," he said.
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Name: Kevin Alvarado
School: Senior at Sandy Creek Christian Academy in Seymour
School activities: Basketball (four years), choir (four years), Anchor House Family Assistance Center and Pantry volunteer (four years)
Future plans: Enroll in a program at Cummins Seymour Engine Plant to work and earn a college degree
Family: Parents, Modesto and Raquel Alvarado; siblings, Robert, Juleimy and Rachel Alvarado
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What: Sandy Creek Christian Academy graduation
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Tabernacle, 301 Indianapolis Ave., Seymour
Who: 6 seniors will graduate