Decidedly Academic. Distinctively Christian.
Mike Uyboco, Class of ‘92
LOOKING BACK AT FOOTHILL CHRISTIAN
I owe so much to Foothill Christian School. Most all of my memories at Foothill are relational. Yes, academics were a focal point. Yes, we were competitive in sports, And yes, we got awards for academic excellence, etc. but 30 years later, I’m thankful that I still talk to my best friend from Foothill Christian and play basketball with buddies I grew up with. FCS is familial—it was an extension of our home.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Foothill Christian is Mr. G. He’s more than a person, he represents the essence of the school to me. He instilled a Biblical worldview in me, but also a commitment to personal excellence as well as excellence before God. At Foothill, I knew the teachers and staff loved the Lord, but I also knew they were going to help me explore ALL of my God-given abilities: academics, sports, citizenship, service, etc. And, because of the size of the school, kids have the opportunity to explore many different avenues to explore their gifts. School was more than grades and academics. I needed to know how to respond when culture challenged me in my life. More than learning soft skills, Foothill’s emphasis on character, citizenship, and discipleship helped me leave knowing what real courage meant too.
When I look back at my time at Foothill, I see just how much opportunity I really had, as well as how much I was equipped and resourced in order to get to where I am today.
JOINING THE NAVY
Nothing worthwhile comes without sacrifice. That being said, I gave up on the “knowns” (i.e. comfortability) really quickly when I joined the Navy. Looking back at my time in service has been rewarding and humbling because I was blessed with the opportunity to watch and serve alongside some of the most incredible men.
I am a soldier and I am also Christian, but the two are not mutually exclusive.
As a man of faith, I had to come to learn throughout my twenty years of service, that serving on important missions with truly exceptional men and becoming respected and decorated within my platoon was not actually the end-state. My mission is to serve God’s kingdom—always. I have appreciation for all my experiences, because they have given me a great perspective. But I’ve learned that to be a Christian in the Seal community means you have to perform— you can’t just talk the talk— you have to walk the walk as a follower of Jesus wholeheartedly!
But it’s funny really– At first, I was never going to join the Navy. I even threw the application in the trash. It was my Mom who said, “you don’t have to go even if you get accepted, but if you never apply, you won’t have any options.” Not only did I get in, but I joined the Naval Academy because I wanted to pursue service and leadership. And the level of my commitment to service and leadership grew year after year after year.
This last year was a Sabbath year of rest for my family and I. We just wrapped up a year-long family RV trip around the United States. It was a celebration of my retirement from the Navy. It was a celebration that my wife had beaten cancer. It was a chance to see a lot of the friends we’ve made over the years. And it was a chance for our family to be together. Even though we had never RV’d before in our life, Nicki and I loved the idea.
Truth is, our priorities changed in 2017 when Nicki got cancer. Cancer sure has a way of changing everything. But, when you make it through something like cancer, you have the opportunity to really challenge all of your thoughts and plans. Cancer forced us to stop and think about the road we were on. When I think about our life on the road this last year, it became a metaphor for our own life to this point: Life is like cars on a freeway, moving FAST at 80 mph. And when you look around at the cars racing down the highway next to you, you don’t really think you’re going very fast because everyone else is moving at the same speed. But when cancer stopped our car, we got out and took a good look at how fast everything had been moving and decided to make some decisions.
Nicki is going to start a business that focuses on the caregivers for cancer patients. She has the desire to strengthen the “inner ring” by enabling the community that surrounds the cancer patient with the resources needed (from the perspective of a cancer patient).
Mike is going to pursue personal training through impacting people’s personal well-being. He’s going to focus on Health + Wellness (movement, eating, sleeping/resting habits) while he consults with a start-up company that focuses on team building. Mike has also joined the Disaster Preparedness “Readiness Team” with Samaritan’s Purse.
I think a lot of people forget where they come from, and so I am so glad I have this opportunity to check in and give back to a school that means so much to me. I stand on the shoulders of many men and women just like me, who know what God’s grace has done for them and are enabled to rise above it all for Jesus Christ.