Home to the New Market Baptist Church for 175 years, New Market, the hometown of Andrea Stansberry is a small country town located a little over twenty-five miles from Knoxville in East Tennessee. Andrea says that there is only one red light in the entire town. “I love it, everybody knows everybody,” she says.
Andrea showed athletic prowess at a young age. And it would be her endurance that would help to make her a star on the track and cross-country teams. When it became time to enroll in college, she wasn’t sure initially where she was going to go. She considered a few schools, but a week before completing high school the King University Cross Country coach called. “At first, I thought it was a prank, Andrea said.
She scheduled to travel the hour and a half east to Bristol to visit the campus. “I prayed about it a bunch. Lord, I need a sign,” she said. On the day that she was driving up she saw a billboard going up highlighting King University. “I decided that that was my sign,” she said.
Once on campus, she knew that King was the school for her. “I love it here, especially the people, the students, and professors,” she explains. Life for Andrea, especially as an athlete has never been easy. She was born with an auto-immune disease called ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes both inflammation and ulcers in the digestive tract.
“I’m really not supposed to do sports,” she says. “I have had multiple hip and back surgeries.” Facing the challenges of being a collegiate athlete has been far harder than she thought it could be. “I was embarrassed about my disease. But I had to start telling people about it and realized that it wasn’t that bad, and I didn’t have to feel embarrassed. That is part of who I am,” Andrea says.
She is a nursing student determined to work in the pediatrics field, taking care of children. She is devoting her life to helping others and dreams of one day working in a children’s hospital in Knoxville. She also thinks she may want to try travel nursing at some point in the future. Andrea’s determination to succeed despite the obstacles she has had to face her entire life, her dedication to service and helping others, and her willingness to work hard to achieve her dreams is representative of what it means to be a King University student. Andrea has the characteristics of the type of student that seeks out King to grow and develop and the type of student that King goes out of their way to recruit.