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by Kala Thornsbury, Student Contributor

Lydia BickhamLydia Bickham has never let obstacles stand in her way. Lydia, a freshman at Alice Lloyd College, was born in Russia where she lived in an orphanage until she was seven years old. She had no formal education and had never been taught any English prior to being adopted in 2001.

“Growing up in an orphanage was tough, but I am grateful for the experience. It made me the person that I am today. I have more compassion towards others and I try not to take things for granted because I know how it feels to not have anything,” says Lydia.

September 11th, 2001 is a day that most mourn in the United States, but for Lydia this day was filled with joy. Lydia’s parents had journeyed to Russia to complete the adoption process, and finally gave her the family that she had been dreaming of. Lydia travelled back to the United States with them, where she found her new home in Texas. She lived there for ten years until her father’s job required them to move to Winchester, Kentucky. Lydia graduated from George Roger’s Clark High School in 2014.

While living in Kentucky, Lydia’s family became well acquainted with the College’s President Joe Stepp and his family. As Lydia got to know the Stepp family, she also got to know Alice Lloyd College. The low student-teacher ratio and the tuition guarantee caught her attention. Upon taking a campus tour, Lydia decided that ALC was the school for her. After spending two semesters on campus studying Sociology and English, Lydia tells anyone that asks that Alice Lloyd is the perfect school for those that are nervous about college. “Students looking for a college that has a family atmosphere as well as caring professors should check out Alice Lloyd. It’s the perfect school for students who are scared of feeling lost in college. There are no strangers at ALC, only friendly faces.”

Lydia serves as an assistant work head in Carrick, one of the female dorms. Lydia feels as though her work study teaches her a lot about service leadership. Lydia partakes in several clubs such as the IMPACT Club, as well as the Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM). She also enjoys using her spare time to volunteer at a local animal shelter. 

Lydia plans on graduating in 2018 with a degree in sociology and a minor in English. Upon graduating from ALC, she hopes to attend graduate school at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. Lydia wants to put her degrees to good use by helping others in the future. She dreams of starting an organization that will work with Russian orphanages to provide children with counseling and an education program. She says that after she has completed graduate school she plans on returning back to Texas to pursue her career. We cannot wait to see Lydia make her dreams a reality.