Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Sophomore Daniela Carrillo (pictured second from the left), credits the encouragement of her friends, sophomore Lavinia Postiglione (far left); senior Stephanie Weberling (second from right); and junior Adriana Campos (far right), as one of the many reasons Blue Mountain Academy has made a difference in her life.

What Makes This Place Different

Story by Esther Hernandez

Sophomore Daniela Carrillo’s decision to attend Pennsylvania Conference's Blue Mountain Academy (BMA) was driven by a quest for spiritual growth. “My family has always been Seventh-day Adventist,” she shares, “but since the COVID-19 pandemic, we haven’t been really involved in the church. Coming to BMA gave me a place that will help me grow spiritually. In public school, people did things that I really did not want to be around, like parties, drugs, vaping, alcohol, etc.”

Carrillo is enjoying her new schedule and all the opportunities BMA has given her. In public school, her routine consisted of going to class, going home, and not much else. At BMA, her schedule brims with activities: classes, vocational education, the Ariel Aires gymnastics team, drama club participation and recreational time.

She appreciates the focus on creation in Adventist education, spanning subjects like history, science and Bible, in contrast to public schools where science classes only teach evolution. She loves the commitment of teachers who start each class with prayer—no matter what the subject is—and believes this inclusion of God in the classroom is vital.

Carrillo admits she tends to be an introvert but is stepping out of her comfort zone more and more because of the encouraging and supportive atmosphere on campus. The strong sense of community and support at BMA impacts in many ways. She’s now more social and is making friends who are trustworthy, helpful and who share her commitment to living for God. “If I tell my friend something,” she explains, “I know she’s not going to gossip or talk about me behind my back. I’m making friends who will always be there for me.”

BMA has significantly impacted Carrillo’s spiritual growth. “I think that since I live here and we have things like worship every afternoon, I feel drawn to pray and learn more about God,” she says. “It’s definitely helped me grow as a person and spiritually because there are always people encouraging me.”

Want to know how you can be part of the BMA Experience? Learn more at, or call (484) 662-7000.

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