In our series of features on IRCS alumni we look to the Class of 2007 graduate and current NASCAR driver, Robby Lyons.
Robby originally entered IRCS for Pre-Kindergarten. While he did spend grades K-4 at another school, he was able to return for 5th grade and stayed through graduation. One of the questions I ask our alumni is how did going to IRCS prepare you for your college experience? Robby’s answer needs to shared in his own words.
“I was one of those easily distracted, not too focused, seemingly uninterested kids for the first couple years in Middle School. The truth is, I was more interested in having fun than having to study or do homework. That all changed around my sophomore year when I had a bad accident while racing dirt bikes and ended up in the hospital for a good portion of the school year. My grades weren’t the best before the accident and after missing so many assignments, not to mention instruction, it began to look pretty dismal that I’d be able to continue with my class the following school year. There are many people that helped me during my recovery, but Mrs. Banse was the person who saved not only my sophomore year, but also my entire schooling career that followed after. During the summer she dedicated countless weekdays and in many cases weekends, to help me complete my work and pass my finals during the summer. I learned things about my faith, life and the importance of our education and how they all work together, for good! Those lessons gave me a sense of purpose and a passion to do my best in every situation, and to always keep a positive, hope filled vision of the future. Without that vision, I wouldn’t have had the success in college or in my career today as a driver in NASCAR. Our school careers are much like running a race, and I’m thankful that I left IRCS feeling like a winner ready to take on whatever came next.”
When asked about a favorite memory from high school Robby had a particular area that stood out. “Mini-mester was such a cool concept leading into Spring Break. I got to volunteer with my friends doing everything from the beach cleanup to serving at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. The community service requirement helped us all try and find a way to make our community a better place. There were just always endless opportunities for us to become not only better people and members of our community and the world, but better representatives of Christ. During the spring of my senior year I was blessed to be a part of the very first IRCS mission trip to England. To this day, I think it was one of the most valuable life experiences I’ve had. The monumental faith-building changed my spiritual life in ways that I could not comprehend at the time, and to this day I continue to learn from those moments. Having spent a week in the Alum-Rock community of Birmingham UK, being a 90% Pakistani Muslim community, I learned to break the stereotype that so many American’s and people around the world have adopted in the post-9/11 decade. The very raw realization that even though some people are very different, they are no less of a person, that God loves them, and it is our job to extend that love to those who might never have experienced the Saving Grace that is Jesus. The fear that I had in my mind getting onto the plane when we left was replaced by a deep compassion, empathy and genuine sense of urgency to always let the Light of Christ shine through my every day actions, and that fear has no place in the heart or mind of us believers! As it says in II Timothy 1:7 ‘For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.’”
Robby currently is a driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck series. The NASCAR season is over for 2018 but you can look for Robby this February at Daytona. I follow him on twitter and he has a tweet pinned to the top of his home page that quotes Matthew 19:26 “With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible.” Great verse, Robby. We are proud of where you have come from and where you are at!