Austin graduated from the UNT. He has a love for Film and his extensive knowledge of movie quotes make their way into about 50% of his conversations. Also, about three times a week, Austin goes out to a local park to enjoy his favorite sport, Disc Golf. Austin will firmly defend the validity of using the term “sport” to describe Disc Golf simply because it’s the only one that he’s ever been any good at. However, Austin’s greatest passion is sharing the Love of God with every person that he interacts with and couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity to do that on college campuses.
After being raised on the inner-city streets of Garland, TX, Jalen and his street cred took their talents to UT Dallas, where Jalen pursued a degree in Mathematics, the discipline of the hood. While Jalen pursued math, God pursued him, leading him into the FOCUS community while he was a freshman. By the time he graduated from UTD, Jalen had developed a deep love for sharing God’s love with college students, which God used to lead him into full-time campus ministry. Jalen feels so privileged to be able to spend his hours ministering to UT Arlington and DBU students while remaining faithful to his secondary passion, dessert.
Emily is a lady of simple pleasures: snacks and Jesus. She came to know Christ her junior year of high school through a simple invitation to come to church. There she was introduced to her Creator who deeply loved her, died for her and who was now inviting her to join His mission. In 2018, Emily graduated from Midwestern State University with a degree in sociology. She has been serving as a FOCUS pastor since then. Emily, very recently, got married to a tall, mustachioed man. She is excited to be serving alongside her husband and UTA apprentice, Graham this year.
Taylor grew up in Austin and moved to Arlington as a freshman in college at UTA. She is so excited to serve on our team at UTA where she graduated with her degree in elementary education. Taylor is very passionate about children and can’t wait to love on her students in the classroom, but she knows God will use, stretch, and bless her while pursuing college ministry this year. She loves running, baking, and being goofy- laughter is by far her favorite gift from God!
Having grown up in the small town country life, Emily decided to attend the University of North Texas with hopes of becoming a great artist. It was there that God had her stumble (quite literally) into FOCUS. She began to understand that Christianity is so much more than a religion filled with rules and regulations, but rather a deep, tender, and joyful relationship with Christ. Emily graduated with a degree in Painting and Drawing with a minor in Art history, and she felt the Lord calling her to do the apprenticeship in order to share with others the treasure she found and was taught. She can read every second of every day, adores her cat Buddy, and loves her friends ever so dearly.
Bailey grew up in many places before finally settling in Plano. She received her Associates Degree in Elementary Education from Collin College (go Cougs), and later transferred to Texas Woman’s University to study Child Development. Bailey showed up to Collin searching for friendship, and FOCUS was there and ready to provide. Now she joins our team at UT Arlington with the hopes offering that same meaningful friendship to others. When she isn’t meeting with students, she is on the hunt for the perfect iced coffee, reading different memoirs, or trying and rating Crumbl Cookie flavors with her roommates.
Sophie first joined FOCUS as a freshman at UTA after seeing some signs around campus. She grew up in church, surrounded by people who loved her and God profoundly. However, it wasn’t until her time at UTA that she encountered God personally. Here, she learned to follow Jesus wholeheartedly and developed a big heart for college students. In 2020 Sophie graduated with her B.S. in Biology, intending to attend veterinary school. However, God called her in a different direction and she is back at UTA to do her apprenticeship with FOCUS. Aside from campus ministry, Sophie loves doing pottery, being outside, and laughing with anyone about anything.