Here Say: Your Stories about Strength, Told at the Activity and Recreation Center

Jun 23, 2015

Here Say is a project in community storytelling. We travel to a new place each week and ask people to share true stories about things we all experience: love, family, learning and more. To see where we've been, check out our interactive map. And to hear your favorite stories from this season, you can find our free podcast on itunes.

Vencel Tigue
Credit Caty Eisterhold/KBIA

Vencel Tigue told us that his lifelong passion for basketball has required many kinds of strength - and a little bit about the greatest source of strength in his life. 

"My mom, she’s the strongest. She just holds everything together. She keeps my mind focused and any struggle I went through she’s always there stepping right behind me. When I was in high school, my senior year, I went to Hickman and I transferred to Rock Bridge so starting new I felt like I needed to be mentally strong to try to have a starting position so I would be able to play college basketball. It’s something I’ve always played since I was a kid and it requires a lot of mental strength and a lot of passion. So that was probably one of the times I felt that I needed to have my mental strength and body, emotionally and everything. I started all my senior year Rock Bridge games, got into a community college up in Minnesota West, and so I just finished community college up there, about to head to San Francisco to play basketball."

Jenn Eatinger-Sprague
Credit Caty Eisterhold/KBIA

Jenn Eatinger-Sprague says that her children both require and give strength.

"You have to be a whole different person when you’re a parent. You have to be able to do things like dance in public, in front of a crowd, because your kid needs some sort of entertainment while you wait in line... I don’t know different things like that. Letting them do crazy things because they want to try it and not being all freaked out and saying no just because you’re afraid they will hurt themselves, that takes a lot of strength. It takes a lot of strength to overcome your fears with your children."


John Gropengiser
Credit Caty Eisterhold / KBIA


  John Gropengiser found strength in God during a trying time in his life.

"I had a situation where I was involved with a marriage and I had a son when I was younger, around 23, 24 years-old, and I actually met Him in that transformation of that situation. So that’s how I found Him, and He helped me kind of through that, and ever since then He’s opened up doors for me, things have happened in my life and I give Him all of the credit for that."


Derek Broadus and his son, after a game of basketball at the ARC.
Credit Caty Eisterhold / KBIA


We met Derek Broadus and his son after a game of basketball. Derek told us about his father's strength.

"When my mom passed, that was something that had to test my strength a little bit. I had just graduated high school and was going off to college and that summer my mom passed away so I guess if you’re talking about strength that was something there. It was just me and my father for a little while… there was things I was needing, I guess searching for, and when it came to other relationships at that time I was young and I needed guidance. He was there, I would usually go to my mother for some stuff like that just to get a woman’s perspective on certain things, but he really stayed there by my side and he just all around supported me. He wasn’t the typical dad ‘oh just push through it.’ He had to sort of reach into his sensitive side and just go with the flow, and if I needed something or needed to talk to him he just said ‘hey I’m available.’ He was just that rock that we still needed."


For more stories about strength, check out our interactive map here.


The ARC in Columbia, Missouri.
Credit Caty Eisterhold / KBIA