Rebecca Bang: Impact Soldier

by Colonel Richard Munn

Enterprise and initiative have been highly valued throughout the history of The Salvation Army. From raising funds with a large kettle in late 19th-century San Francisco, to making donuts from scratch in early 20th-century World War I trenches, to converting unwanted bric-a-brac into a rehabilitation ministry, the list of ventures and ingenuity is impressive.

Today that spirit of resourcefulness is exemplified by Salvationist soldier Rebecca Bang, from Southern New England. Here is a young lady bursting with capabilities and ideas, with the added capacity to recruit and inspire others to her cause.

The SAconnects team had a chance to catch up with Rebecca recently, as she concludes her first year at university, to give you, our readers, the story behind the story.

What corps and communities have you lived in through your childhood and teenage years? What highlights stand out?

From ages 9 to 14 (middle school), I was a member of the Newport, R.I., corps. From ages 14 to 18 (high school), I was a member of Waterbury, Conn., corps.

I loved both appointments that my parents (Captain James and Jina Bang) were assigned. I loved Newport because the ocean is breathtakingly beautiful. I loved Waterbury because of the friends I made through the youth program.

You have created some impactful initiatives for worthy causes at a relatively young age. Can you describe them for our readers?

My junior year at Pomperaug High School, I created impaCT, a student-athlete-led club aiming to “impact CT” by fundraising and volunteering for The Salvation Army. The club and its mission statement were inspired by my identity rooted in The Salvation Army and as an athlete. I won a state title in tennis my sophomore year, played competitive tennis, and ran cross-country and track.

By the end of my senior year, impaCT raised $20,000 for the Waterbury Corps. We created original fundraisers, rallied volunteers, and raised school spirit and awareness about The Salvation Army’s work in our community. The club also was established in two more Connecticut public high schools (Weston and North Haven).

You served as a summer intern for the International Social Justice Commission (ISJC) in New York City two years ago. How was that experience for you?

Interning for the ISJC was a great experience to see how The Salvation Army works on an international scale. I have only been familiar with how The Salvation Army works on a local level, after watching my parents work at corps. I found new admiration for the Army’s services for the international community, especially after learning under the Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery department.

Interning for the ISJC was extremely eye-opening to the extent of good that The Salvation Army strives for in our world.

What are your personal hopes and dreams for the future?

I just finished my first year at the University of Virginia. I hope to finish undergrad at UVA’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, then potentially go to law school. I also dream of backpacking across the Alps.

Can you share any concluding words of insight or encouragement for our readers?

Anyone can be a leader, if you are proactive. Age doesn’t determine leadership—attitude does!

Thank you, Rebecca—as promised in Scripture, our prayer is that God would grant you the desires of your heart. We look forward to what God will do through you in the future, and we’ll be cheering you on.