Ethan Jo is a senior at TPS this year, and quite ancient by the standards of high school seniors, though he’s been told he doesn’t look it. Thanks to two awesome parents, he’s been a proud homeschooled student for thirteen years, four of which he spent here at the crazy world of TPS. “How crazy?” one might ask. To this, he can personally testify. Since meeting “The Awesome Mr. Crosby” and raving about bacon in 9th grade Medieval History class, goofing off with coffins, hands, and M&Ms in 10th grade Advanced Comp (the class now known as “The Best Class of the Century) and deriving natural log cabins in 11th grade AP Calculus, Ethan will never again be surprised at the antics of students and teachers alike. This year, he has been particularly blessed with serving on clay and sharing his passion for engineering and science, as well as enjoying Role Playing Games, theological debates and fiction writing on TPS Forums. He is a proud member of a large TPS family in Christ, including Soda, Rosie, Penguin, and Banana.
Outside of TPS, he led quite a busy life, with swim team, piano, youth group, church, and a younger brother to keep track of. In 2020, that all changed, as his brother grew up, and the pandemic brought a halt to most of his social interaction. Thanks to the extra time from the pandemic, he took up long-distance rides on his Razor A5 scooter, improved his skills at Super Smash Bros, and designed and built a model elevator. “A model elevator? Would Ethan like to explain?” Of course, he would. It all started with the elevator in the back of Macy*s. When he was little, it was one of the first elevators he rode, and one of the most memorable, because he couldn’t reach the buttons. Several years later, the memory returned when he rode another elevator of the same type. That launched him into discovering a world of different types of elevators, fascinating machinery, and vintage control systems. Since then, he has been faithfully recording every elevator he rides in video, and searching for the elusive antiques. So, when the pandemic came in 2020, he took the opportunity to make his own elevator, modeled on vintage relay controls. The project then proceeded to take over his life for 6 months, but left him with one of his proudest accomplishments.
In his free time, if he has free time, you can find him exploring emo music and alternate worlds, shopping for new pens, or writing about emotional music and alternate worlds with his new pens. What you won’t find him doing, however, is playing his music on the piano. He plays his favorite Twenty-One Pilots tunes, My Chemical Romance songs, and familiar hymns when he has personal time with God. This fall, Ethan will be attending the University of Delaware studying engineering, and maybe economics. He can’t wait to start an elevator club at UD, and see what the Lord has in store for him there. But that doesn’t mean he’s leaving his TPS family behind. You can expect to see him around GP7, and other student communities for years to come.
What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was really little, I wanted to be a bus driver or a mailman, because they drove really cool cars. But my parents pretty soon persuaded me that I was capable of much more. For a long time after that, I didn’t really know. I had interests in history, writing, and science. What I didn’t realize then was that I would come to love calculus (thank you Mrs. C!) and eventually come to love the engineering of elevators. So now, I’m tentatively planning on engineering, but there’s also the possibility that I’ll go into business or ministry.
Favorite Bible Verse: I have a lot of favorite Bible verses, so here are a few in no particular order. Esther 4:14, which says “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” This verse is really important to me, because it reminds me that we are all placed in our times and places for a specific purpose. We may not know it now, but God has destined us for His good work.
Joshua 1:9, which reads “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” This verse reminds me God is always with us. Because of that we do not have to fear or be discouraged.
Ephesians 1:11-12, which says “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” These verses are a reminder that God works everything in conformity with the purpose of his will. Even when life looks terrible—and trust me, sometimes it will—everything is going to plan.
Finally, John 16:33, which reads “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” This is the verse I look to when I wonder whether life is worth living. It is the one that gives me hope, because Jesus has overcome this broken and dead world, and given us life and peace eternal. All we have to do is believe in Him, and make it through this life.
Advice to Younger Students: “Watch your words.” It’s what my dad always told me when I was upset, and now I have come to understand why. Words have the power to build up or to tear down. How would God have you use your words? “The world is at your fingertips” Seriously, to all the younger students who are reading this, this is your world now. Use this time to explore the world, figure out what you want to do, and then do it. People will tell you that you can’t do it, or they will tell you that nobody can do it. But you are, all of you, capable of so much more than you know. God has given you all specific gifts that he wants you to use. Use them.