Sandy Creek senior ready to help the elderly after graduation

“I already miss high school and I haven’t even graduated yet,” said Lilly Deaton, 18, a senior at Sandy Creek Christian Academy in Seymour.

As Deaton graduates Saturday with her classmates, she said it will be bittersweet to leave a school that has changed her life for the better.

Deaton’s grandparents, Angie and Rodger Drew, took her in and raised her after the untimely passing of her father and her mother not being involved in her life.

Deaton’s grandparents are heavily involved in The Tabernacle at Sandy Creek and introduced Deaton to the school when she in K-2. That is when she fell in love with the environment and the welcoming atmosphere.

“I have always loved this school, and I feel like I have been such a big part of this school,” Deaton said. “It really has changed my life.”

Deaton said she wasn’t always the social butterfly or one to get involved in extracurriculars, but this year, she said she has become more social through church activities.

She enjoys getting together with her friends during Chapel Ignite services, where they sing songs of worship and praise God.

“It’s a really cool experience because I think it has brought a lot of unity in my class,” she said.

Deaton said this year, the teachers helped her out of her shell by encouraging her to follow her dreams and be a constant support during times of stress.

“If they see that you are struggling, they are there to help pick you up,” she said.

The month of December is a difficult time for Deaton, and going through some personal struggles this past year, one of her teachers stepped in at the right time.

“Sister (Misty) Arrowood had a serious talk with me, and I just took that and ran with it,” she said. “Since then, I have been more outgoing at school, at home and at work. I have really pushed myself to do better and be the best person I can be.”

Deaton works at Autumn Trace taking care of the elderly, and since working there, she has grown to know these individuals as not just patients but friends, too.

“You can just sit and talk to them for hours, and they always have good stories to tell,” she said. “They always put a smile on my face whenever I have a bad day.”

Deaton said after graduation, she hopes to further her training and become a certified nursing assistant. Eventually, she hopes to further her education even more in a registered nurse position.

In five years, she hopes to be an independent citizen and take care of her grandparents by doing what she loves the most.

Besides being involved through different church activities, Deaton also enjoys the art of photography, capturing the perfect moments in the daily lives of people.

“It has always been something I love, especially capturing those sentimental moments between people,” she said. “It’s something family and friends can always look back on.”

Deaton said as this school has helped her grow from her past, it will be difficult to finally leave high school.

As advice for the underclassmen in her school, she said to make the most of the high school experience.

“As hard as the homework can be sometimes, do your schoolwork because the grades do matter,” she said. “Also, make some friends because I wouldn’t have gone through high school without some of my closest friends.”