Senior Profiles: Sam Purvines

Sarah Nash, art editor

While many of KHS’s soon-to-be alumni are making college plans, one student has decided to take a different path. Sam Purvines, senior, belongs to the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon religion, and he gets to travel the world.  

“It’s pushed or emphasized that when you’re 18, you can go on a mission trip,” Purvines said. “It’s two years long and it can be anywhere. I get to go out and share what I believe and influence people around me in that community.”

His church leaders, friends and father have all influenced this decision said Purvines.  Their own stories about how this trip helped them grow and mature, have all pulled him closer to the cause. Lindsey Melby, junior, is another member of the church and friend.

“It definitely sounds like a good opportunity to travel, but also I am really excited about it because it is a break,” Purvines said. “I have been doing school since kindergarten, so maybe two years off isn’t a bad idea.”

“I have been doing school since kindergarten, so maybe two years off isn’t a bad idea.””

— Sam Purvines

“A lot of people who I know have gone on these mission trips. It has really shaped them as [people],” Melby said. “It’s a really honorable thing to do because [Sam is] giving up two years of his life.”  

The program gives its participants opportunities of both service projects to help those in need, and conversion. Purvines and others like him will be able to spread and teach what they believe to the community in their location of choice. They will come to aid in urgent situations, and try to improve conditions. Samantha Ricks, sophomore, belongs to the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints as well.

“It has been an important part of my life, because it’s a guiding thing that I have,” Ricks said. “[My] ideas and all of my standards have been formed by my church.”

Past members have gone to Japan, Australia, Canada, China, the Philippines and all over the United States. Purvines hopes to go to New Zealand, an island in Oceania, for his mission opportunity.  He said he is looking forward to the nice weather, the distance, and the abundance of sheep. Purvines already turned in his required documents to participate this year, and will discover his location around the end of the school year. While college-bound seniors leave KHS in late summer or early fall, he will leave on his journey in July. He is not only looking at this as religious experience, but as a break from formal school since he will be able to learn about the world without the confines of a classroom.