The MOVE team invites youth leaders to nominate students for a special recognition throughout the week. A name is drawn every morning from stage, and the selected student is declared a prince or princess for the day. Adorned with a crown and cape, these students receive royal privileges and honors … they can even make up a few crazy rules their peers must follow, if they wish. Ultimately, it’s a way to individually encourage students who might need an extra pat-on-the-back.
High school senior Jadyn Pitts from Enid, Oklahoma, was one of the princesses in 2019. She said it was a shock to hear she was to be a princess for a day. It was her fourth time at MOVE, and she said she's always captivated by the lights used during worship because she volunteers to run lights at her home church. She loves being behind the spotlight, not in the spotlight, so being chosen to be noticed by everyone at MOVE during the week was a bit of a shock to her system.
“I like being noticed but at the same time, I’m always the person in the background and I don’t like being the center of attention,” Jadyn said. “I’m in my happy place behind the scenes, so being a princess was really weird. It’s completely opposite of who I am. I don’t like going to the front of the line or talking to strangers – I guess I’m stand-off-ish, but I feel like I’m just like every other person and not better than anyone. (As princess) I’d be walking by groups of people and they’d start clapping. It would take me a minute to realize they were clapping for me, but it felt so cool. It’s definitely encouraging, and I felt noticed and recognized for just being me.”
When Jadyn’s name was announced, her loudest fan was Kelly Briix – her small group leader from Oakwood Christian Church.
“This recognition was hard for her,” Kelly said. “It’s hard for her to be in the limelight because she doesn’t think she’s important enough for it. But she is. They’re all important enough for that. They need people in their lives to tell them that. I tell these girls all the time I love them. They’re like my own kids. I want them to understand what that means. So many times, these kids think love is conditional – I’ll love you if you perform, if you get the grades. I was able to have parents that love me unconditionally and not everybody has that. Love from Christ is love where you’re at. I want to walk through that with these girls and live life with them.”
School is back in session for Jadyn, and Oakwood Youth Pastor Justin Bodie said he couldn’t help but notice she’s crushing it.
“Jadyn had a great summer, a great week at MOVE and the school year has started off really great for her,” he said. “Her experience at MOVE was another step in the right direction to help her get out of her shell and feel encouraged. We’re grateful and already excited and planning for CIY MOVE next year.”