Junior Alyssa Scalise loves to read, sing and is passionate about American Sign Language.
Recently, she found refuge in religion following her chaotic youth.
“When I was younger, I had a bit of a Cinderella story. I had an evil step mom and I had two half sisters so that was something that was always kind of controlling my life,” Scalise said.
As little kids, Scalise and her siblings would entertain themselves through small doses of revenge against their step-mother.
“I remember chewing a bunch of gum and then putting it in her shoes. The funniest thing my brother did [was] he put something in her shampoo and it made her start to lose her hair,” Scalise said.
Scalise was often mistreated by her step-mother during the six years she lived with her. However, there was one positive outcome from her presence in Scalise’s life.
“When I was in third grade my step mom started taking us to church. I wasn’t really sure what Christianity was, but I knew this God had my back. So when I was upset, I would pray a lot, and that made me feel much better,” Scalise said.
Once her step-mother was no longer in her life, there was nobody to take Scalise to church. It was not until her freshman year that Scalise’s friends started bringing her to Calvary on Sundays. This past summer, she went to camp with Calvary Community Church at the Murrieta Hot Springs Christian Conference Center.
“That was the best thing ever. I declared myself a Christian and I got baptized right after; it was really great,” Scalise said.
Her experience was life-changing.
“It was just… I don’t even know how to describe it. Feeling the presence of God is just incredible. I was balling nights in a row. It was amazing to just see people just giving their life and then I did,” Scalise said. “That was the hardest I think I’ve ever cried but it was out of happiness which was weird and it’s still the hardest I’ve ever cried.”
Since her experience this summer, Scalise wants to dedicate her life to serving God. Without her Cinderella-esque childhood, she may have never found her place in Christianity.