Juggling Act

Youth pastor with rigorous academic schedule has yet to drop the ball

Brittany Perkins ’15 balances her Longwood studies with her duties as a youth pastor at Glenn Memorial Baptist Church in Prospect. RyenToney and Emily Kelley are among the children she works with at the church.

Brittany Perkins ’15 balances her Longwood studies with her duties as a youth pastor at Glenn Memorial Baptist Church in Prospect. Ryen Toney and Emily Kelley are among the children she works with at the church.

Brittany Perkins is getting an early start on her career.

She has been the youth pastor at Glenn Memorial Baptist Church in Prospect since April 2014, when she was finishing her sophomore year at Longwood. How does she juggle a job with being a full-time college student?

“You have to learn balance,” said the liberal studies-elementary education major from Fluvanna County. “Fortunately, the church is flexible in working around my school schedule.”

Perkins, who will graduate in December 2015 and is interested in youth ministry, modestly claims that she is still learning balance, but the results are impressive. She has a 3.9 GPA and will graduate a semester early. She is a member of three national honor societies (Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Delta Pi and Alpha Lambda Delta), is active in Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) and was a peer mentor last year.

After graduating, Perkins will continue her job, which will convert to full time, and is thinking about pursuing a Master of Divinity degree through Liberty University. She also is open to teaching.

“Working with youth and children is my mission, my passion. I also love teaching and being in the classroom, so I might like a job that would combine teaching and youth ministry,” she said.

Perkins’ job involves Bible studies, games and fellowship activities with the church’s youth group—12-14 youths in sixth through 12th grades—as well as about 15 younger kids. I have the best job in the world,” she said. No other job in the world combines all of the fun things I get to do.”

Perkins’ faith also has a serious side. Through Longwood’s BCM chapter, she went on a weeklong mission trip to Haiti in March 2014.

During the trip she helped build a house and worked with street kids and children at an orphanage. In a nearly three-week mission trip in high school, she taught vacation Bible school in Brazil.

Perkins knew very early that she wanted to be a teacher, which she attributes in part to her kindergarten teacher, Terry Edwards ’84.

“I’ve wanted to teach since I was 4 or 5, even before kindergarten, but Terry reinforced my desire to be a teacher,” she said. “She was a phenomenal teacher who made learning fun.”

Also by age 5, Perkins knew she wanted to attend Longwood. “My mom grew up in Cumberland, and I have an aunt who still lives in Farmville, so I came here often. When I was 5, this was the only college I knew existed.”

Thanks to a scholarship, Perkins was able to follow through on those early plans. She is the 2014-15 recipient of the Betty Jo Simmons/ Kappa Delta Pi/Phi Delta Kappa Scholarship.

“My parents made too much to qualify for financial assistance but didn’t make enough to pay for all of my college,” she said. “Fortunately, when I came out of high school, I had a number of scholarships, though this is my only Longwood scholarship. My job also has paid for a lot of my education.”

—Kent Booty

If you are interested in how you can help a deserving Longwood student, please contact Institutional Advancement at gifts@longwood.edu.