Jason Probst ‘86 has a heart for service. While at Rabun Gap, he worked as a crew leader in the horse barn and participated in Teen Missions International. After Rabun Gap, he joined the US Air Force. Probst took a small hiatus from military life but then accepted a position in the US Army, serving during Desert Storm. Somehow, Probst made time to receive a BS in Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University. He now works for the Food and Drug Administration, investigating bioterrorism.
Tell us what you have been doing since graduating from Rabun Gap? I
have worked in many areas of the military, including counterintelligence. Now, I work at the FDA’s Division of Food Defense Targeting. This is our mission statement: protect the public from a threatened or actual terrorist attack on the United States’ food supply and other public health related emergencies. And, prevent food that may be intentionally contaminated with biological, chemical, or radiological agents from entering the United States.
What is something interesting about you that we wouldn't find on your resume?
I enjoy cycling. It was an unrealized childhood dream to ride in the Tour de France. My last century (a bicycle ride of 100 miles) was in 2014.
How did Rabun Gap help to prepare you or influence your future goals?
There was a very good spiritual impact from Rev Jack Beaver’s program, with a lot of visiting speakers who were very effective.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time at Rabun Gap?
I thoroughly enjoyed the tennis team, and the skiing & rafting trips were a really nice interlude.
Is there a specific faculty member, dorm parent, or coach who had a particularly important impact on you?
Mr. Billy Joe Stiles taught our Biology – there was none other in my lifetime, who could teach like he did! He got the science in, with applicable portions of Christ & life experience for a really good balance.
What advice do you have for current Rabun Gap students that you wish someone had told you during your time at school?
Don’t believe every negative thing you hear. Make clear objectives, and pray through your circumstances. I would like RGNS to consider creating a 30-minute-per-day program that encourages an incentivized combination of prayer, scriptures, and note-taking. I could have really profited from that at a much younger age than I eventually did.
What would you like to see happen at Rabun Gap in the next 10 years?
I would really like to see a collaborative program with RGNS & Teen Missions International, which fosters and develops teens in the world of hands-on, non-denominational evangelism and missionary experience overseas, during the Summer months. In my life there has been little growth outside of personal, hands-on experience, which I feel is lacking in the church today. If not Teen Missions, then I suggest a Biblical / archaeological Summer program to the Holy Land. Such a program could become academically creditable, perhaps via joint-planning and execution with a college. If engineered properly, such a program could be extremely meaningful – academically, personally & spiritually.