Nyack College: A Home Away From Home

A home away from home. It would be a good idea to have one if you’re almost 5,000 miles away from your family.

A second “home” is exactly what Megan Ma’afala-Maiava found at Nyack College when she left Pearl City, Hawaii. Originally a biology major, who knew she wanted to work with children, Megan transferred into Nyack’s Youth and Family Studies (YFS) program. During the first semester as a part of YFS, she had to admit that God’s plans were going to trump hers.

Ask a senior like Megan to share one of her fondest Nyack memories and overwhelmingly the response will be the strong sense of community on campus. It’s a response easily offered by Megan, who found another level of community through her participation on the volleyball team. She says, “I will honestly miss a lot—the staff, the people, my team, the environment. What I’ll miss most is living on campus. There is nothing like communal living.”

Beyond her academic studies and sports, she shares that it was Nyack’s tremendous commitment to the spiritual formation of its students that opened her heart even wider to the concept of community. Many students find the foundation of transformation in the Personal Spiritual Formation (PSF) course coordinated by Dr. Ron Walborn, vice president and dean of Alliance Theological Seminary and his wife, Dr. Wanda Walborn, director of spiritual formation, who are both professors. The impact of PSF was a pivotal experience for Megan.

In fact, she explains, “A Nyack memory that makes me smile was the PSF retreat. I didn’t like my small group in the beginning of the course because there was a lot I didn’t want them to know about me. However, after the retreat I gained four sisters and two incredible mentors.”

What are her post-graduation plans? Continuing to cultivate the importance of family and community, Megan will begin her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliance Graduate School of Counseling!