Mark Beckman has a favorite quote that can be found in his senior yearbook:
"Most people miss opportunity because so often it's dressed up in overalls and looks like work."
Though he said he doesn't know who to attribute the quote to, it's a motto he strives to live by. Mark gives of his time to help others whenever he can.
In the fall, Mark was one of a group of volunteers from Warren Baptist Church in Augusta to go to Covington, La., to do hurricane relief work.
"I took a week off from school," said Mark, a recent graduate of Augusta Christian Schools. "I think a lot of the residents were surprised that somebody my age was willing to go out there and help."
Though he was the youngest in his group to go on the mission trip, he said the other volunteers taught him a lesson or two about hard work and helping others.
"The other volunteers worked harder than any kids I know," said the son of Dan and Paula Beckman, of Evans. "They really understood the meaning of work and it was good to learn from them."
The work, done at New Zion Baptist Church, where Warren Baptist senior pastor David Fleming previously served as the youth pastor, included roof repair work, along with the clearing of debris.
"Mark is an outstanding young man with a bright future ahead of him," Fleming said. "He has a real heart for people and for serving the Lord. It is refreshing to see someone like Mark, someone of his age and stage in life, making himself so available to serve others and the Lord."
Mark also volunteers as a referee for the Upward soccer program at Warren Baptist, assists with the kindergarten program at church and serves as a vacation Bible school worker.
For his senior trip, Mark was part of a group of 25 seniors who went on a mission trip to Merida, Mexico, to help with the construction of a school. Mark also led the recreation program for a vacation Bible school there.
"I wanted to help some people down there," he said of his senior trip. "I always like helping people."
Mark, 18, has a long list of credits to his name. He was a 2006 honor graduate, is recipient of the Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship, has been joint enrolled at Augusta State University since the summer after his sophomore year, is a 2004 graduate of the Columbia County Youth Leadership Program and recently became certified for the county's community emergency response team.
At Augusta Christian Schools, he was a member of the French club and served as president of the Beta Club. He also ran cross country and track.
Mark will head off to the University of Georgia next month, where he will pursue a major in biological sciences. He wants to become an orthopedic hand surgeon and continue his work of helping others.
"Both of my parents are physical therapists and I've wanted to do something in the medical field my whole life," he said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.