We see over and over how mentoring relationships can impact communities! Please enjoy this success story from one ministry CAYM helped train.
Shepherd Christian Community sits in the middle of the poorest area of Indianapolis, a city where the poverty rate has nearly doubled since 2000. This Nazarene church has a congregation made up mostly of impoverished families in the area. Their innovative programs include an elementary school that helps youth who would otherwise attend underperforming schools served by an overwhelmed staff. They realized that the youth in the school and in the community needed more. Kids growing up without two healthy parents need mentors, especially when faced with the multi-generational poverty.
One of the critical factors in breaking the cycle of poverty is when people find they have something to give others. Before getting a mentor, Jayzon would frequently avoid any tasks beyond the basics needed to survive. After getting a mentor through Shepherd, he set a goal to be more compassionate and more aware of the needs of his neighborhood. But what could one teenager do in a poor, decaying community?
Jayzon had an idea. Every Friday after school Jayzon walked his neighborhood, picked up trash, and got to know his neighbors. As time went on, he involved his siblings, cousins, and friends in his community improvement project. He was able to make an impact on his neighborhood, and many neighbors expressed their appreciation for his hard work and dedication to his neighborhood. His attitude towards his neighborhood changed because he was able to make an impact from something as simple as picking up trash. The more important change came in Jayzon’s view of himself and his future.
CAYM helped start and sustain Shepherd Christian Community in 2009 through training and consulting.