The rich experiences Kylie Plichta has enjoyed thus far, are attributed to her openness to God’s call on her life. Plichta, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Communication, with a minor in Sports Communication & Management at Grace Christian University, did not have a plan for higher education early on. While finishing up high school at East Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kylie Plichta thought higher education was not in her immediate future. “I didn’t really have an interest in going to college at first,” Plichta stated when looking back at her time in high school. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go but my peers saw a change in me my senior year of high school as I began to focus more on God.” Now a Junior at Grace Christian University Kylie felt a pull to Grace because of their mission opportunities and the ability to continue her soccer career.
Kylie’s path to Grace started in 2019 when she went on a summer mission trip to the Dominican Republic. While traveling has always been enjoyable for Plichta, daughter of Michelle and Kevin Plichta, it was this trip where her perception of God totally shifted. “The DR trip was the first time I heard God speak to me and I knew that He was calling me to missions,” Plichta remembered fondly with a smile on her face. Since being at Grace, Kylie has also enjoyed two trips to Puerto Rico with a small student group, first as a participant and serving as a leader in her second! When asked if it was stressful to lead the trip as a student she replied, “We can only do our best. The biggest challenge was being the only one on the trip who could translate for the rest of the group but we had the best time cliff jumping, having beach days and of course, working at the camp.” As Kylie reflected on her time in the mission field, she believes serving pushes her to grow. “I have become more compassionate towards others as I have grown in my calling to the mission field. I want to do what’s best for others even if I don’t quite believe the same things they do.” Plichta plans to devote her life to missions and helping others.
While missions is what pulled Plichta to Grace, she has also been a three-year starter for the women’s soccer program, as well as taking on leadership roles such as being a Resident Assistant in the resident halls this year. Mike Reimersma, Head Coach of the Varsity Women’s Soccer Club of Grace Christian University stated, “Kylie is great to have around. Her willingness to add more spiritual emphasis on our team this year was something she and another leader desired to spearhead. I appreciate her initiative to make this part of our daily schedule. I believe this was a big reason why our team was closer with each other this year. I love her heart and desire to serve the Lord in whatever it is she is involved in.”
When asked about getting the full experience at Grace, Kylie answered, “I initially wanted to just enjoy being a student but God keeps giving me opportunities and when He calls, I need to follow. If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re probably not growing.” Kylie went on to share more about her time at Grace by stating, “My favorite class I have taken at Grace is definitely Theology of Spiritual Formations (THE 363) with Professor McGillicuddy. I love this class because we are studying practical life lessons on how to grow in our relationship with God and we practice these spiritual disciplines on our own after learning about them.” Though Kylie couldn’t choose a favorite professor, she shared “Grace truly has some amazing professors and they are all so personable which is definitely a highlight for choosing a smaller-sized school.”
Kylie looks forward to more opportunities and is excited to take advantage of other trips happening through Grace Christian University. Ireland, Turkey, Israel as well as Puerto Rico are on her list, as well as other destinations where she can serve and learn.
Grace Christian University is thankful to serve and prepare students like Kylie, as courageous ambassadors for Christ who make an eternal impact wherever they go!
Written By: Kyle Bohl