Feature Alumna - November 2023

Mykela Deckinga '13 Howes
It is hard to believe it has been a decade since I graduated from Chicago Christian. As I reflect on my four years at CCHS, I can hear the shouts from Spirit Week competitions, visualize the faces of my peers, and feel the joy of the inaugural Senior Tailgate, celebrating our accomplishments and enjoying each other’s company before we parted ways. During my time at CCHS, I participated in tennis, basketball and various other extracurricular clubs and activities.  The “CCHS Difference” is evident in each teacher, administrator and coach hired to lead and educate students in a Christ-like manner. I am thankful for coaches like Mrs. Rager and Mr. Pittman for caring about character, teamwork and building community while displaying leadership both on the court and in the classrooms. I have fond memories of serving alongside my peers and teachers on Kingdom Building days pursuing what it means to serve others in your community.

After Chicago Christian, I moved to Waco, TX, and received my degree in Nutrition Sciences at Baylor University. Shortly after completing my degree and internship in Nutrition and Poverty, I spent a summer in Mombasa, Kenya serving and learning at a hospital with International Medical Aid. My time in Africa taught me so much about international healthcare, and communication without speaking the same language, but I was ultimately taught invaluable lessons on service and humility. 

Following my time in Africa, I moved to Houston to begin my professional career as a Clinical Dietitian. Today, I serve in a large children’s hospital, working in a Level 4 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  I work on a multidisciplinary team to grow even the tiniest and youngest of infants, supporting the families during some of their hardest and most challenging days. Pre-term and NICU patients are some of the most resilient humans and I am so thankful to work with this population.

This past June, I married my husband, Landon, surrounded by some lifelong high-school friends.  I am thankful for the careful cultivation of friendships within Christian education. A servant's heart, humility and teamwork are large parts of hospital care, and I am thankful for these lessons learned since leaving CCHS.  I am thankful for my science teachers, Dr. Kuips and Mrs. Vilendrer, who encouraged curiosity and experimentation for discovery.  I am also grateful for the foundation Chicago Christian built with required volunteer hours and leadership with Kingdom Building and service trips.