Mr. Pioneer preview: Sam Welk represents the Christian faith

Christianity is definitely the most prominent religion in the Lancaster County area, with a sizable chunk of the county population identifying themselves as part of the Christian faith. A lot of students are part of that group, and they wanted to be able to get together before school and practice their faith. The Fellowship of Christian Students, or FCS, meets every Wednesday in the early morning to find inspiration in ways like worshiping through song or watching series on prayer. Speakers from churches or youth groups also periodically stop by to speak to the teens.
Sam Welk will represent the Fellowship of Christian
Students in the Mr. Pioneer contest

Welk participates every Wednesday morning in the youth gatherings and considers faith to be a driving factor in his life. He is one of the few seniors involved, so he thought that it would be a good idea to sign up for the Mr. Pioneer competition and spread the word. He says that “the main thing is just being around other believers in the school.” Keeping the faith in school can be hard work at times because of all of the stress and outside forces, he says, but thanks to his friends, his girlfriend Hannah Hess in particular, he manages to maintain his strong morals and keep himself and others connected with Christianity, which is extremely important to him.

"I just try to be a light and reach out to others. I mean, I’m not perfect, I’ll admit that, but just being an encouragement to others is the best you can do," he says.

He really believes in giving his support to fellow students and “just making them smile.”

Sam’s desire to volunteer his assistance leads him to also volunteer with the Strasburg Fire Company, a job that requires abundant amounts of selflessness and bravery. Every Monday, he meets with the company, and whenever he gets an emergency call, Welk rushes to help out. “I just love helping people,” says Welk.

Welk works at Hershey Farms as well. He works on his own, for the most part, planting and sometimes working the cash register. “It was a really good first job. It taught me a lot. I got hands-on experience and people-meeting skills.” Welk learns responsibility and other skills while working with the Fire Company and Hershey Farms, and he carries those skills into his daily life.

Welk is a talented percussionist who has been playing for eight years now, and jokes, “There aren’t many music groups that I’m not involved with.” He has been a part of jazz band, marching band, concert band, and full orchestra for nearly four years each. He helps the chorus when they need someone to add volume to their songs. This year, he tried pit orchestra and had a great time. Outside of school, he is a member of All-Stars, a percussion group in Millersville that meets every other Sunday.

“It’s fun. You get to beat on things. Keeps my stress under control,” he quips.

Even though he seems to be swamped with activities, Welk still finds time to maintain his grades for National Honor Society and spend time outside with his friends.

Welk volunteers his time and effort to help others when they are in trouble, strengthen his faith routinely, work tirelessly for his job and his instruments, keep his grades high by putting in hours of studying, and even hang out with his friends while enjoying the outdoors, but he still maintains his humility. When asked what sets him apart from the other contestants, Welk struggles to put himself above the others, his companions. “I’m down-to-earth… I’m there to be there for my club. If I win, I’m glad to win because then I can give something back to FCS. I’m not saying that I’m better than anyone else. I have no reason to win above anyone else.” Still, he really wants to be able to donate his percentage of money to his club so that they can afford to do more. His humble nature simply makes him even more admirable.

This is Sam Welk’s message to the voters: “Vote for me. You won’t be let down. You’re supporting a good club, and the money’s staying in the school. The club’s doing a lot of good for the school. If you go to church, you’re essentially supporting the church and your faith by voting for me and the club I represent.”

--Lillian Murr, School News Editor

Edited: BP

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