My name is Alex Brooks and I was born on January 23, 1990. I was raised in the city of Toronto, Ontario and come from a large family of having six siblings which consists of five girls and one boy who happens to be the youngest (which I’m sure he doesn’t always enjoy). I live at home with my mom and grandma being the head of our household. I very much look up to both of them for their strength, perseverance, never giving up, and being faithfully great women of God. I also have a good relationship with my dad and occasionally stay with him. I love my family dearly and could not imagine coming from an only child home. One thing for sure is that there is never a dull or boring moment to be had.

The one who truly sits at the head of my table is God. I was born and raised in the church; First Baptist Church, Toronto to be exact. Within my 24 years on this earth, there are not many Sundays I can recall where I was not in church. Growing up I was always aware of God’s presence in my life. I felt his favour on me simply in the way that he created me. I have always been set apart, confident and strong in my beliefs and morals, and never strayed very far from them. I haven’t had to deal with much peer pressure in my life because my peers and friends highly respect my position and don’t deter me from it, but rather support it. It is strictly by Gods hand that he instilled and blessed me with that power and influence. I decided to take the walk with Christ seriously in 2009 when I got baptized, and I’ve been embarking on the road of discovery and learning ever since.

Being so different from the people around me was a struggle I used to deal with and did not comprehend, until one day I understood. I was in Kenya, alone with my thoughts in the sun, sharing its marvellous glow and the surrounding flowers, beautiful in its colorful pallet. Being in the natural aura of God’s creation I realized, my true essence and gift is in the uniquely rare quality I possess; and there will only be so many, if at all, that will truly be able to identify with that. I’m not meant to fit the norm of society and its people. I am meant to set and be the example that others would want to follow, but more importantly in the way God would want and have me to be. So I strive to put into practice every day, of being the individual God would have me to be, understanding that I won’t be perfect, but aiming to be as Christ like as possible.

In school, I maintained high grades. I attended Monarch Park Collegiate Institute, where a grave part of my struggle began in my latter years. At the beginning of my third year of high school, I had an eighty-five percent average. Some of my highest marks being in the ninety’s percentile, took a downward spiral, when I began to doubt and question my identity and where I fit, in the world. I stopped going to class. I dealt with chronic insomnia. I wasn’t doing my homework. I had no motivation and no drive. I had no sense of purpose or knowing who I was. I felt sort of depressed until an opportunity such as Kenya came along and served as very different purposes for me. Going to Kenya served as a way to not only give back and learn about a different people and way of living, but also a time of self-reflection and soul searching. It took me a while but I did graduate and received my O.S.S.D diploma in 2010. It is a struggle I thank God for and appreciate.

I currently work at Good Life Fitness in Toronto as a Customer Service Representative, but the correct term in the Good Life family is being considered a Motivator. I have worked there for over two years and my job is to help motivate and service anyone who walks through the door. I also make it my job to make a simple difference in the lives of the people I come across every single day, through my actions of having respect and loving care for others. I have been saving money to go towards my post-secondary education, and plan on studying going into Counselling or Teaching because it is not only a strength of mine, but are both interests and hobbies I have.

2014 has been my year of really trusting and putting God first, as well as working on hearing His voice. I’ve been seeking and praying about the direction in which I should take, and humbling and opening myself up to really be able to learn and grow from this journey; and also understanding the importance of taking care of oneself on not only a physical and mental level, but learning to couple it with the spiritual level. Grouping it all together is shaping me to be the person I know God wants me to be in Him; in His time. I trust it’ll all come together when the time is right. With this time I’ve had away from attending school and now being out in the workforce, it has been re-shaping my focus and expanding my train of thought and outlook in so many ways and on many levels. It is all playing a role in molding what is going to be in store for me next.

I enjoy reading, music, singing and playing sports. I received the Most Valuable Player awards playing basketball in both my first and last year of high school, and also received the MVP Award playing on the volleyball team in 2009. For basketball we were the tier 2 champions in 2008 with 15-0 season. I received the Status of Women Award in 2009 for Empathy. I was a part of both The Student and Athletic Council at Monarch Park. I have assisted in coaching the junior and senior teams at Monarch Park and Bowmore Road P.S in basketball, volleyball and softball. I received a coaching award 2010 for being an integral leader. I now have over one thousand community service hours.

One of my greatest passions in this life is helping and being of service to others. My experiences in traveling as far as Kenya, Africa (twice), has helped with this realization. The first trip was in 2009 and the second was in 2011 and its purposes were to help build a school and work with some of the people within the surrounding communities. We learned a bit about their life and what it meant to believe; what it meant to have faith and a hope and love so strong, unshakable in the face of extreme hardship and unfortunate circumstances. Being able to witness a genuinely smile and thankful heart in others who experience the rough and jagged edges of life, is refreshing, and such a blessing to be around. I say that because we do not see it enough within our Western culture and society. We take many things for granted.

I am excited to say that I have the amazing opportunity to be part of a Missions team flying to Rwanda, Africa in July. The Mission trip is through my church First Baptist Church Toronto and support through the Canadian Baptist Ministries. My prayer and purpose for going on this trip is to not only to touch, but to be touched, by the mission of this trip and all it entails; which includes the people we’ll meet, the activities we’ll engage in, and et cetera. The interacting, the exchange, and transfer of different feelings and emotions to be shared and felt throughout our time there, is going to be matchless. It will also be a time of learning on many levels and being fully open to new horizons and understanding. It has the capacity to help find and shape the person you are to be.

Every day is a new challenge and opportunity that I am grateful to have. Embracing where I have been currently, is placed in order for me to learn and fully utilize everything I have within me to give and be considered a source of light for my generation. The journey is not meant to be easy but with God on your side, anything is possible.

“Faith is being sure of what we Hope for and certain of what we do not see.” -Hebrews 11:1