To celebrate the completion of her master’s degree in school counseling, Darby Miskelly and two of her friends, Chelsea Jones and Kristen Shouse, hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2018.
Jones graduated FHU with a double major in social work and child and family studies and Shouse received her bachelor’s in criminal justice and a master's in clinical mental health counseling. “It was really neat that we all had degrees in mental health, which set us up nicely to work cohesively in tough times and work with others,” Miskelly said.
It took the trio two years of planning before they embarked on the 2,190 mile hike where they discovered their strengths, leaned on each other when they faced challenges and were amazed by the kindness of people they met along the way.
“It’s cool to do this trip as a Christian because this six-month trip was a cool goal to push for, but the Bible tells of a greater goal to work for over the course of this life; an even more glorious goal of a lifetime in heaven,” Miskelly said.
The trail taught Miskelly many things including her new outlook to “jump into uncomfortable things to grow yourself.” She credits FHU professors for helping her along the way and giving her confidence.
Miskelly is a guidance counselor and an assistant director at Mid-South Youth Camp.