By Jen Bakken
Rather than prepare for fall classes this fall, Alicia Pearson of Delano, embarked on a mission that will affect more than 60,000 young people across the country.
For an entire year, Pearson will serve as a traveling missionary with the National Evangelization Team (NET) Ministries.
Less than 100 young people from across the world are chosen to serve on nine teams. The teams lead retreats and perform community service all over the United States.
After five weeks of training, Pearson will depart with 10 other dedicated volunteers to travel in a 12-passenger van and begin their nationwide mission.
“I don’t even know where I’m going yet,” said Alicia Pearson. “But, the unknown is very exciting, and I will be in my element sharing faith with young people. I hope to make a difference one soul at a time.”
Her parents, Gary and Mary Pearson of Delano, are surely proud of their daughter as she has accomplished many things in her life so far.
After graduating from Delano High School in 2003, Pearson was a princess in the Delano Royalty Organization for one year and graduated from Winona State University in 2007 with a sociology degree and professional studies minor.
Soccer was her sport of choice, and she was captain of her team during her senior year. She was also the 2005 homecoming queen while in college.
As an active member of the Delano Catholic Community, Pearson enjoys sharing her faith with young people.
“What is true for Alicia is true for every youth, young adult, and adult. Meaning, God invites us into a deeper relationship with Him,” said Ellen Bauman Delano Catholic Church Youth Director. “He is continually inviting us to use our life, our time, talents and treasures in being His witness in this world.”
Bauman believes part of her job as youth director is to present opportunities and encourage involvement, but most importantly, challenge the youth to spend time in silent prayer where they will learn to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd calling them by name.
“My prayer for the youth is best said in the words of Mother Teresa, ‘My prayer for you is that you come to understand and have the courage to answer Jesus’ call to you with the simple word yes.’” Bauman said. “Alicia simply said ‘yes.’”
For the mission trip, Pearson had to raise her own funds, and the one-year commitment will mean a simple life. With one suitcase, a sleeping bag, pillow, backpack and only $100 per month, she feels it will be similar to living the life of a disciple.
“I hope to get kids excited about their faith,” she said. “Maybe they will see me, a girl who wears hearing aids, who knows what it’s like to go through the world needing accommodations, and they will get motivated through my passion for Christ.”
For more information about NET Ministries, visit www.netusa.org. To make a contribution to Alicia Pearson’s ministry make checks payable to:
110 Crusader Ave. West
West St. Paul, MN 55118