Amberlee Rich, a native of Kentucky, moved to Idaho her senior year of high school and attended Idaho State University (ISU) in Pocatello, ID. It was there that she met her husband James and was actively involved in Chi Alpha. In 2009, Amberlee graduated from ISU with a double degree in Secondary Education and Art. Following graduation, she taught middle school art for five years before making the jump to life as a stay at home mom.
Currently, Amberlee and James live near Boise, ID with their two adorable kids, Selah, 4, and Jonathan, 2. Amberlee actively blogs about motherhood and family life on her website, amberleerich.com and serves as the Chi Alpha City Alumni Ambassador for Boise. Amberlee shares what Chi Alpha has meant to her and her heart for Chi Alpha alumni.
Describe the impact Chi Alpha had on you as a student at ISU.
Chi Alpha was life transformational for me. I grew up in a Christian home where doctrine was a heavy focus and I wanted to have passion for God and not just head-knowledge. I went to Chi Alpha my first week of college, got plugged in right away and it was totally life changing. The people out there were living their faith and not just talking about it. A lot of my views were challenged and it was good. Chi Alpha changed my view on being generous and giving financially to Christian ministries. I had the opportunity to go on mission trips through Chi Alpha, lead Bible studies, and do one-on-one discipleship. Chi Alpha gave me the ability to practice my faith while I was in college so I was better equipped to serve in the marketplace and my church.
What opportunities did you get while teaching art to impact the lives of students for Christ?
I was in charge of a club called Rachel’s Challenge (named in honor of Rachel Scott, who was killed in the Columbine school shooting). My goal was to create a culture of kindness in our school and teaching kids to have a heart for reaching others. As an art teacher, I taught art history to my students. Many masterpieces have Christian themes, so that gave me the opportunity to talk about the last supper, David and Goliath, the crucifixion, and so much more. I was part of a prayer group of teachers who would pray for our students and our school each morning, and I would pray for students as they walked down the hallway.
What do you think is the vision God has given you for the Alumni in your area?
I think it’s building more connections and community and supporting each other, not just from church family, but Chi Alpha family. Chi Alpha has a common tie. We’ve invited alumni over to our house, created play-dates with moms and kids, and other activities. We’ve also been able to help each other in times of need becoming a support group for each other. As our city Chi Alpha Alumni Ambassador, I’ve been encouraging alumni to support missionaries through prayer and financial support with the focus on helping the Chi Alpha mission continue.
What advice do you have for Alumni who are making the transition to the marketplace and post-college life?
Find a church that you can serve in and get connected to. Have people that will keep you accountable. Make reading your Bible and praying part of your daily routine. Being part of a weekly Bible study, being connected in community is so important. Your work is still a mission field.