More Than a Friend

by Morgan Noel Thomas • ELCA Senior Class of 2020

It was a normal, early Monday morning, and I was walking through the cafeteria to get to the high school. The memories were flooding my head as I saw the few children scattered at the tables for morning care. I remembered my days at morning care when I was a young Kindergartner at ELCA. As I was getting ready to leave the cafeteria, I passed by a little girl who happened to catch my eye. She was sitting by herself because her friends had yet to arrive on that early Monday morning. I sat down and introduced myself, and from that moment on, Zoe and I have been more than just friends.

That was three years ago, and even now, I could never thank God enough for putting Zoe in my life. As we spent more time together, and started getting to know each other more, I realized that this little girl reminded me so much of myself, from her love of soccer and all sports, to her friendly and sometimes sassy attitude. In addition to our similar interests, our dislike for skirts, and our similar personalities, Zoe had almost all of the same elementary school teachers as I had. With Zoe having the same teachers I did, it gave me the opportunity to come to her class throughout the day, and talk to my favorite elementary schooler. Zoe never fails to brighten my day and through the years, our bond has become so strong, that we call each other sisters. 

 By meeting Zoe three years ago, she has opened up a multitude of opportunities. After spending my days with Zoe I realized I had a love for children and she inspired me to start up a mentoring program at our school. All I want is for more young kids to be able to have, foster, and grow a relationship with older students at ELCA. I want to bridge the gap between the age groups because I believe that we have a huge influence on the younger kids in our school. I truly believe that our relationship is special and God brought us to each other. I hope that I can bring other children together who not only need someone they can trust and believe in, but someone who trusts and believes in them.

Zoe has been my light in my darkest days and she never fails to make me smile. We have an unbreakable bond, and even though I am a senior and will be leaving ELCA, I will never leave Zoe’s side. I will always be her biggest fan and supporter and I truly love embracing the role of “big sister”. I love when Zoe’s friend’s see me in the halls and say “Hey Zoe’s sister!,” and I love cultivating my relationship with her and a new relationship with her younger sister who is in kindergarten. I hope that I can plant a seed of Christ in her and any other children I can impact. By teaming with ELCA’s Diversity Council, I hope other students will be able to develop the same mentoring friendship I have with Zoe.

I am so proud of Zoe and all that she has accomplished in my years of knowing her. I plan on continuing to cultivate our relationship years after I leave ELCA because that is how important she is to me. When I started at ELCA, I had one sister, but now, I get to leave ELCA having two. We may not be blood, but I love Zoe Hill like a sister, because she is one.

Morgan started Kindergarten at ELCA in 2007. Learn more about ELCA’s Diversity Council at https://www.elcaonline.org/apps/pages/diversity.