By Chelsea Rankin (originally published in PHC Herald, 2/24/11). Picture by Art Cox.
Patrick Henry College
PHC senior Elisé Kraft, soon on her way to Yale Law School
Reflecting on her time at PHC, Kraft has watched her faith in God grow as she has trusted Him with her schoolwork. When she studies for a test, she tries to learn the material to her “satisfaction,” and grows discouraged and stressed when she doesn’t.
“I have to give it to Him, because I can’t handle it [on my own]. Impressing your professors or getting the grade you want...that’s not the issue. Put your best effort in and trust [God] for the results,” she said. “He taught me that my ability always comes from Him.”
"Yale and Stanford are the most competitive law schools in the country, so this is quite an honor for Elise'," observed PHC Professor of Government, Dr. Frank Guliuzza, the College's pre-law advisor. "I'm hoping that she will be the first of many PHC students who will earn admission to Yale Law School. While there, she'll receive an exceptional and unique legal education."
Kraft recalled her Philosophy of Law class with Dr. Montgomery last semester. A few days before her presentation, she was still researching. She hadn’t even begun her twenty-page paper. She was having trouble understanding her source. Her lack of understanding quickly turned to panic as the days flew by, bringing her closer to her presentation.
“God, I can’t understand this,” she told Him. And then she realized she just needed to move forward and trust Him for the outcome. Though unsure when she gave her presentation, she received an A+. She couldn’t believe it.
“I couldn’t do it by myself,” she said, “I had to trust God. If He wants something to happen, He can do it again. That’s the theme I see through my time here: God teaching me, ‘You can’t do it alone, but when you recognize that I can do it, then I can do things through you.’ I’m not capable of it in my own strength. I’m a human being and I need to get sleep.”
Kraft has also watched herself mature socially. When she first arrived at PHC, she had trouble developing deep friendships. Through her RA and good friend Shannon Healy, she learned to develop deeper friendships. She realized that going to a friend’s room to hang out was appreciated, not an imposition. She learned that friendships could form despite different beliefs. And she learned the importance of opening up to people.
She has been encouraged by the difference between her interaction with people in her first year and a half and in the last few years. Kraft absolutely loved her time at PHC and said she can’t believe it’s almost over.
Kraft plans on spending her summer preparing for her time at Yale both spiritually and intellectually. She plans on joining a Christian group at Yale, and will definitely keep in touch with all her PHC friends.
“I know that if God is going to do this much to get me [to Yale], I know that I can trust Him to take me through stuff that I’ve never experienced before,” she said.