Sitting in the noisy locker room, with the tangible pre-game anticipation flooding the air, Veronika Metanova steadily finished taping up her hockey stick as she had done before every game for the past fourteen years.
Soon she would be putting on her gear from top to bottom, left to right, ready for the puck to drop. But first, there was something else she had to do. She stood up and walked over to an old soccer ball in the corner of the room and started to kick it around.
The movement brought her back to her childhood days, playing soccer with her father in the streets of Bulgaria. She knew he would be out in the stands right now, ready to cheer her on; he never missed a home game, or an opportunity to support her.
Metanova, star hockey player and senior Justice and Public Policy major at Concordia University, moved with her parents from Bulgaria to the United States in June 2001, after her mother was chosen by the Bulgarian embassy in a green card lottery.
“When my mother was chosen to come here,” Metanova recounts, “she knew she wanted this. She wanted a good life for me, full of opportunities.”
While some might refer to Metanova’s life as a “luck of the draw,” she now knows there has always been a divine plan at work. When Metanova was searching for colleges, she had no idea what God was about to do. She simply knew two things: she wanted to play hockey and she wanted to study Criminal Justice.
“My grandfather was a Chief of Police in Bulgaria and my uncle was a detective,” Metanova shares. “I knew I wanted to carry on their legacy; I guess you could say it was in my blood.”
Concordia provided the opportunity for Metanova to pursue her dream of studying Criminal Justice and her passion for hockey, while continuing to grow and be challenged. During her hockey career, Metanova broke numerous records, including most points scored and most assists scored during a school career. Yet despite her athletic success, Metanova considers the greatest part of her journey at Concordia to be her faith walk.
When Metanova came to Concordia, she was not a Christian. A freshman religion course sparked her interest in what Christianity was all about, while the friends she made at Concordia became a driving force in her deepening faith.
When my mother was chosen to come here, she knew she wanted this. She wanted a good life for me, full of opportunities. Veronika Metanova
“I don’t know where my faith would be if I hadn’t come to CUW and had the friends I did,” she reminisces, a gracious smile flooding her face. “That’s what’s special about Concordia –the people that are there for you no matter what you’re struggling with.”
Metanova found what her mother always hoped for her: a life full of opportunities. It wasn’t a luck of the draw, but a divine plan that her journey also led to a faith in Christ. After graduation, Metanova will be joining the Brown Deer police force and attending the police academy, while continuing to play and coach the sport she loves. Without a doubt, her parents will be cheering for her through it all.
Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of stories featuring some of our unique or exemplary Class of 2017 May graduates. More stories will be posted on our Graduation Tab in the days leading up to commencement.
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