CHARLOTTESVILLE — It’s not about where a person starts so much as it is about how a person deals with and adjusts to the situation they’re put in. That’s the philosophy of Eastern Hancock High School senior Sky Currence, who plans to study social work and help others learn to cope with and thrive in the situations they find themselves in.

In addition to wanting to serve others after she graduates from EHHS Sunday, Sky was also one of Eastern Hancock’s recipients of the Character, Competitive Greatness and Leadership that Serves Award given to seniors who put others before themselves.

Considering the childhood family issues Sky has overcome in her young life, some might say she’s a true inspiration for never getting down and always trusting in a higher power to pull her through and help her find the right way.

After having a less-than-ideal childhood with both parents ending up with drug issues and in jail, Sky refused to give in or become a statistic of a troubled upbringing. She instead looked upward, to God she said and found her life’s calling.

Eastern Hancock’s Allissa Smithson, left, and Sky Currence look over graduation mailers for friends and family. Sky lives with Alissa’s family. Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

“My dream is to help others and I also want to minister,” Sky said. “I’m not sure how they will come together, but I know I want to do both.”

After graduation, Sky is headed to Huntington University to study Theology and ministry as well social work so she can help others get through difficult and life altering circumstances like she herself has overcome.

“Childhood was fairly normal until I was about six or seven years old,” Sky said. “My older sister got involved in church and she’d always take me when I was little and that got me started.”

Sky’s older sister, who is 11 years older than her, ended up moving out and moving on with her life, leaving Sky and her brothers with her mom, who had split from Sky’s father and was struggling to find a place for the family to live.

After bouncing around different states and different homes, Sky went to a church camp in Indiana, one her sister invited her to attend. It was there Sky said she felt God wanted her to come and live in Indiana.

“I got so close to God that summer, and I just felt Indiana is where he wanted me to be,” Sky said.

She enrolled into Eastern Hancock schools in 7th grade but only got to stay for a few months because her mother took her back to Ohio to live. However, that was short-lived when Sky found her mother doing drugs and contacted child services to try to save her brothers, who had both followed her mother’s and father’s drug addiction path.

“That’s when my mom and brothers disowned me,” Sky said. “That happened in November of 2019, so me and my brothers had to go live in temporary housing.”

Officials eventually put Sky and her brothers back in touch with her father, who Sky said unfortunately was also on drugs and left the young teens on their own for weeks at a time to fend for themselves. She had to also call officials and report his abuse after he too landed in prison.

Sky noted the only thing that kept her going was the connection she made to God, who she said filled her with the holy spirit and showed her life was going to get better.

“I came back to Indiana at the end of my eighth-grade year,” Sky said. “My brothers stayed in Ohio with foster families and they really didn’t want anything to do with me because I had turned both my parents in because of their drug abuse.”

Sky was eventually placed with her sister’s in-laws in Indiana because they had space on their family property. She’s currently living with fellow EH senior Allissa Smithson and her family.

Sky said finding safe shelter was one of the more fortunate things that has happened to her.

“My sister was on the same property and over the past couple of years I’ve been so fortunate because we’ve become pretty close,” Sky said. “It allowed me to go back to Eastern Hancock.”

Eastern Hancock’s Sky Currence, left, along with fellow senior Allissa Smithson. Sky has been living with Alissa’s family after her own parents continued to struggle with drugs and legal problems. Tom Russo | Daily Reporter

Sky noted that, through it all, the relationship she’s developed with God has been the biggest blessing, pulling through every hard day she went through.

“Jesus has been my best friend,” Sky said. “I can’t imagine how I could have gotten through everything I’ve been through without him, and I genuinely believe that I have healed so much and don’t think about the past too much and what I’ve been through because of God.”

While Sky says she’ll always carry the scars of her childhood, they do not define her but instead help build her.

“God wrote it, what happened in my life so it can’t be bad,” Sky said. “If I can help one person, or inspire one person, well I’d go through it all again.”

That includes making it through high school, where she struggled some in math and science. Still, she turned her grades around during her junior and senior years and was able to participate in color guard for four years in addition to a year of tennis.

“I really enjoyed high school and color guard, it changed me for the better,” she said.

As for heading to college, Sky noted that it was God’s plan because while she had dreams of heading to Anderson University, the cost was something to consider. Then during a career fair she stopped and talked with officials from Huntington University, also a Christian University, after God prompted her to do so.

“I went to visit and they helped me work everything out,” Sky said. “I’ll be going to school there and living on campus next year.”

If there is one message Sky would like to share with her fellow classmates and all young adults who are wondering how their lives will turn out, it is to trust the process and keep working hard and doing the right things because eventually it will all work out.

“I had no idea how my senior year would go or what the future held, but it has been so nice because just when I thought one day couldn’t get any better, it did,” Sky said. “God just keeps on doing good things and it’s so crazy.”