Safiol graduates early to begin overseas mission trip

Senior+Selena+Safiol+will+graduate+early+in+order+to+commence+her+mission+trip.

Photo Shannon Youngberg

Senior Selena Safiol will graduate early in order to commence her mission trip.

Shannon Youngberg, News Editor

Senior Selena Safiol will embark overseas on a six month long mission program, which requires her to graduate five months before her classmates on January 13.

According to Safiol, the program is categorized as a DTS [Discipleship Training School]. It is put on by the organization Youth with a Mission, which is an evangelical inter-denominational, non-profit Christian, missionary organization.

Although Safiol identifies as an evangelical Christian, the organization itself does not identify with a specific denomination to avoid creating a divide among the program’s participants.

Safiol is set to leave for the trip on January 17.

“We spend three months [in New Zealand] doing a lecture phase of a Christian missions program and then spend two and a half months in an outreach phase somewhere either in Fiji, New Zealand, India, Africa, or any of the South Pacific Islands,” Safiol said.

I really like the idea of going someplace before college so that I can see the world before I go off and start doing whatever I’m doing.”

— Senior Selena Safiol

Safiol described the separate foci of the two part program.

“We spend three months basically being poured into [with information and training] and then we spend the two and half months applying what we’ve learned,” Safiol said.

DTS offers a variety of programs that focus on unique interests and talents.

“Mine is sort of geared towards music and worship,” Safiol said. “We are learning, in the three months we are there, how to share the gospel through music, worship, and Christian context.”

In order to graduate early and take part in the program, Safiol had to make some changes to both her junior and senior year schedules.

“I knew since last year that I wanted to do a DTS and I wanted to graduate early, so my guidance counselor and I talked [the necessary preparations] over,” Safiol said.

She rearranged her schedule by taking the required economics class a year early, and doubled up on English courses senior year to obtain all the required credits to graduate.

According to Safiol, there is an option offered to continue service upon completion of the six month program as a staff member for DTS.

“Doing this six month program is the prerequisite to [join the] staff…,” Safiol said. “So if you feel called to staff there then that’s what you would do, but I’m thinking I want to come back home and go to college.”

I’m going to miss being able to get my diploma on stage and everything, but I think it’s worth it.”

— Senior Selena Safiol

Safiol hopes the program will guide her in the direction of what she plans to do after college.

“… I don’t know if doing something like missions work full time will be something that I am going to do, but we’ll see,” Safiol said. “That’s why I want to test it out, to learn what I’m interested in.”

According to Safiol, she felt that she would gain the most from the experience prior to attending college.

“I really like the idea of going someplace before college so that I can see the world before I go off and start doing whatever I’m doing,” Safiol said.

Due to the length of the program, Safiol will not return to the States in time to attend graduation.

“I’m going to miss being able to get my diploma on stage and everything, but I think it’s worth it,” Safiol said.

Safiol expressed her excitement for the eye-opening experiences she hopes to have throughout the course of the six months.

“I don’t know exactly what I want to do so I hope to get some perspective and not be in the little Southborough bubble my whole life,” Safiol said. “I want to see what’s out there and what other opportunities there are.”