Kelly Jo Lanza Selected 2009 Parent of the Year

by Office of Marketing | Oct 30, 2009
Each year during the Homecoming and Parent's Weekend festivities, students nominate their parents to receive the honor of Parent of the Year. The 2009 Parent of the Year is Kelly Jo Lanza, nominated by her "daughter" Christina Scheetz. 

Kelly Jo, in the absence of Christina's biological mother, has served as her spiritual mother. Christina explains that her biological mother was not "there for me" but God sent Kelly Jo to fill that void. Christina says of Kelly, "I am where I am today thanks to my mom Kelly. She means the world to me." 

In addition to working full time, Kelly Jo has two boys that she home schools. Christina's nominating essay can be read below. 

Congratulations Kelly Jo Lanza - VFCC 2009 Parent of the Year!! 

Kelly Jo Lanza

Have you ever had that feeling that you thought your life was over, when you lose someone you love so much? Well, I felt like that until one day I meet this amazing, red headed lady named Kelly Jo Kleinsmith. She once told me, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," Philippians 4:13 

Kelly Jo became my mother about three years ago when I first started attending Living Word Fellowship Church. I meet Kelly through my Pastor, Joy Ortega. Kelly is my Spiritual mother! My biological mother is not there for me, so Kelly stepped up to the plate and took me under her arms and I became one of her own children. Kelly is a newlywed and has two teenage boys. Her husband Jim also attends VFCC! 

I remember the first days that I ever saw her before I meet her! I was like, she is nice, has a servant's heart and a heart after our Christ Jesus! I then started attending a small group at Kelly's house where our relationship started. She has opened her heart and poured her love out to me. 

Throughout our relationship I was struggling with feelings of abuse that young ladies my age shouldn't have, as well as rejection, depression and not feeling loved! But with God and Kelly's help I have been set free from all these feelings so that I could get closer and intimate with God. No matter what choices I made, good or bad, my mom Kelly stuck by my side and made sure I came out in the end a winner not a loser! I am where I am today thanks to my mom Kelly. She means the world to me. I am here at VFCC because of her and my church family. Without their support I would never have been able to make it! 

My mom Kelly also works a fulltime job, home schools one of my brothers and goes to school herself. There is never a moment that goes by when she is not busy. I don't know how she does it all. By relying only on God and fully surrendering everything to Him, she does it! This is why I am nominating my mom Kelly Jo Lanza for Parent of the Year!