Butler sees Church as an extension of her family


SPARTANBURG — Amy Butler is the daughter every mother wishes she had.

Family is important to this Converse College freshman, who is solidly grounded in her values. So important that she chose to attend Converse College because it is close to home. She will be near her family, while making decisions about her future.

“I’m a big family person,” Butler said. “We have five kids in the family.”

Butler is shy, but talk about children, and she beams. She feels right at home around youngsters. This summer she earned college spending money as a baby sitter.

Butler enjoys a sense of community, the sense of belonging and sharing and pitching in to make things work. That is why her Catholic faith is so important to her. She sees the Catholic church as an extension of her own family. She plays an active role in her parish, Jesus, Our Risen Savior. “It’s the big family of the church,” said Butler, that she likes to be involved in.

Pam Rice, youth director at Our Risen Savior, said Butler was always willing to volunteer for youth functions. “She was one of the leaders who helped make my job easier. “Amy is quiet, but she oozes confidence,” Rice said. “She knows where she wants to go and what she wants to do.”

This college freshman went to St. Paul’s School until the eighth grade, then made the transition to Dorman High School, where she maintained a 4.0 grade point average.

Education is important to her. For several years she taught at Our Risen Savior’s vacation bible school. Now Butler is exploring the field of special education. She has looked into it, and said job prospects look good. She seeks it as an opportunity to improve the lives of those who are less fortunate or who have had a bad break in life.

Butler said she became interested in the field while baby-sitting a child with Down syndrome. “She’s a sweet little girl,” Butler said. “She’s even been in my vacation bible school class.”

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed by the church. This summer the Knights of Columbus awarded Butler a $500 scholarship.

She also won the 1998 Knights of Columbus Catholicity Award, which comes with a $100 U.S. Savings Bond. But Butler does not see her volunteer work as something to honor.

She sees her efforts as something that must be done because her faith requires it. Simply put, it is part of her life.

“I didn’t do what I did to win any award,” Butler said. “I just love working with kids.”