........Celebrating one of ours blazing the trail, Frances Okoye [RISS ALUMNA, CLASS OF 2008, SPORTS PREFECT].
Anderson University's Toluwani Adebakin (Lagos, Nigeria / RISS) and Bluffton University's Gabe Makin (Elida, Ohio / Elida) have been named 2018 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Year, respectively. Adebakin led the Ravens to a second place finish at the meet, while Makin led the Beavers to a fifth place finish on February 17.
Adebakin, a sophomore for the Ravens, won two individual events at the 2018 HCAC Indoor Championships.
The sophomore claimed the individual titles in the 200-meter dash (22.54) and 400-meter dash (50.25).
Adebakin was also a member of Anderson's winning 800 meter and 1,600 meter relay teams.
  • Most Outstanding Male Track Athlete: Toluwani Adebakin, Anderson University
  • Most Outstanding Male Field Athlete: Gabe Makin, Bluffton University
  • Most Outstanding Male Freshman Athlete: Travis Murr, Manchester University
Culled from https://www.heartlandconf.org/sports


It’s an honour to be given the opportunity to represent the alumni in this capacity but most of all to use this medium to exercise a passion of mine; reaching out and giving back.
My journey at RISS started in September 2003 and the six years I spent had an impact on my life that cannot be ignored. I love the way the subject of this write up is ‘faith couched’ because by God’s grace I am on my path to success in Jesus name.
Looking back, I can highlight four major life principles RISS encouraged me to imbibe and they are as follows:

1. Put God first:
It may seem inevitable to some that attending a Christian school would boost spiritual growth but the truth is it doesn’t always work this way. I had the chance to discover God for myself, from leading praise and worship to preaching at assembly to fasting and praying.

2. Where excellence is a personal goal, reward is inevitable but irrelevant:
this I would say is my personal mantra when it comes to expectation of rewards. I have always loved to put in my best in whatever I do and I wasn’t any different in secondary school. As human beings, we always expect that when we put in the ‘work’, we will come out tops and praise or recognition should follow; this is barely ever the case. I started learning at RISS that what you feel is your ‘due’ may not be what God has in mind for you. Even the bible makes it clear in Matthew 6: 1-7 that where you receive earthly rewards for certain acts and feats, there is no corresponding heavenly reward. I am not saying featuring in the top 5 consistently is bad (this was my life) but looking at the bigger picture is necessary. Excellence should be to glorify God and not for self flagellation.

3. Individuality:
There is no greater lesson than being your own person and having your own mind. This was highly encouraged at RISS. I can remember being a part of almost everything: singing, dancing, acting, marching, debate, sports (this one surprised me too, lol). I was able to discover my strengths and weaknesses and not feel ashamed about the activities I wasn’t awesome at. I would give you an instance. In ss3 I was so comfortable with leading the march past for my house (up Victory House…hehehe) but on a certain day, I was watching my friends Winston and Folarin throw the javelin. They were trying to teach my close buddy Oghosa so I just stood there observing. Pastor Tony was passing by and after throwing the javelin, he asked me to try which I thought was a joke at first. I didn’t want to suck at it and then have people laugh but he insisted. Trust me, my first attempt was not perfect but it was better than what anyone expected. My point is, don’t let the familiarity of your comfort zone stop you from discovering new things about yourself. The only sports medal I have is from throwing the javelin, yes I won a medal.

4. Essence of relationships:
Every student who passes through RISS can testify of the close knit community that it is. No one can ignore the importance of friends and positive influences in life as you strive to meet your set goals. I am thankful for the friends turned family I acquired at RISS. I can boast of friends who will be there for me at the drop of a hat and my numerous mummies in the Eden place compound.
In closing, I would leave you with some wise words my Literature and English teacher Mr Onitiju told me ‘You can’t gain from what you despise’. I was standing in front of the hall complaining about all the things my school wasn’t instead of focusing on what it was. These words have stuck with me for life and are a life principle today. Reminiscing on my experiences, I can say that no one attends RISS by mistake so whatever time you have to spend there, grab all you can, get involved in that ‘not so cool activity’, express yourself but never be rude. All these lessons I learnt was because I decided to get involved, don’t ever stay on the side lines.