My name is Shanice Brooks. I was born in Toronto, Canada at Mount Sinai hospital on April 8, 1996. I’ve been raised by my mother, Sharon Ellis-Brooks, along with my five siblings. My mother is a very strong woman, and has taught us to never give up on anything in life. As a follower of Christ, she has also taught us, that, any problem we may have we get through it by the grace of God.

I really came to know Christ in 2013, during the experience of a sport injury and the reliance on prayer and faith in God, to see me through. The injury came from a ruby concussion that took some time for my brain to fully recover. Through all the prayerful support and ongoing treatments, I’ve come to realize how important it is to trust God. My spiritual journey is now helping me with my emotional adaptation. Though I am healthy, I have to think before I react, because my concussion came with mood swings and anxiety. However, I do not use that as an excuse, but rather as a motivation for my success, to push harder and lean on God a lot more.

I am 18 years of age and graduated this year from Pickering High School after moving from Monarch Park Collegiate in the spring of 2013. At Monarch, I was a rising track athlete and became a runner with the University of Toronto. In 2012, I qualified and competed in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association (OFSSA). Having received scholarship consideration at Michigan State University in Grade 9, I was determined to become a successful athlete. After moving to Pickering, I wasn’t allowed to run track for a year, so I played rugby where we were the High School Loss a spot to attend OFSSA 2013 shortly before experiencing my concussion. It has since limited my physical activities but will not limit my determination to the successful in whatever God has for me.

As a teenager, peer pressure is a big obstacle to get around; but having God as my inspiration, I do not go by what the crowd say or do, I do what I know is right. With God by my side I aim to be a leader and not a follower, and share as much good about God with my friends as possible.

I’m thankful to First Baptist Church and Pastor Gibbs for his dedication, hard work and faith in allowing me to be part of the Rwanda missions trip and an opportunity of a life time. I am very excited to be attending Rwanda on July 25 until August 5. I am super thankful that we have such an amazing church behind us through it all. On this trip I hope to grow as a young adult. As I will be out of my comfort zone, it will allow me to develop an understanding of what it feels like to be in the real world. On that note, we get to go to Rwanda and share our ways of praising the lord and experience their way of praising God. When we return I want to share everything I have learned and observed with everyone. Once again I just want to thank the church for all the support and prayer.