"The organization is called, Youth for Christ. It's an international organization and we are the only chapter in Louisville. So, we're on the campus and in the community. We're also in JCPS schools because we want to be everywhere the kids are. We have clubs and do different activities with the youth. We have middle and high school aged kids, which are 11-19 year olds. The organization decided that 'Yeah, we're on campus, but we're not reaching the urban kids', which is why we have City Life, which is located within the urban communities. Urban youth gravitate more towards their neighborhoods and surrounding communities, rather than their school. Urban youth may not have the basic needs, such as clothing and safety. They may experience drugs, alcohol, abuse, and neglect. We really just try to uplift the community and empower the youth to become believers of Jesus Christ. We also want them to be leaders for their communities, as well. We are holistic and have a holistic model that we follow with spiritual moral education and success. We realize that kids need to stay in school. If they stay in school, they can have better jobs with economic success. We focus on basic health and safety, too. Do the kids need glasses or food? We provide a meal and healthy snacks each day. We spend a lot of communicating and relational time with the kids. It's not a lot of programming, but it's a lot of talking and building trust with them. We're teaching them be leaders and great role models and to be good in school.
I have a cosmetology license and I was working at Super Cuts. I became the manager at one of the largest stores in Louisville. I was going through a lot with my family, particularly with my children's father. I had just became a Christian and God was like, 'You need to stop having sex'. We have three children together and had just had our third one. So, I was going through a struggle with him. When I got to Super Cuts, I seen that there were a lot of issues there, as well. I felt a calling to work in ministry. I never really been involved in church like that. I was a fresh new Christian. I had left that Super Cuts and went to another one, but it was too far out. My car was messing up. It was just too much going on. I quit that job and stayed home. I told my children's father that he needed to get a job or we were going to have to get assistance, because at that time, I had broke my foot. So, I ended up getting some assistance. In order to get some assistance, you have to volunteer. I went through Power of Works and told them that I wanted to work with young moms and they thought that this would be the organization that I could volunteer at. I came here to volunteer for about a year and then they had an opportunity available for me to work for them. I started as the office facilitator. I was keeping the building clean, overseeing the volunteers, and then I just started pulling kids in. I fell into City Life. I understand the things that these kids have experienced. In a couple of years, I would like to run the Parent Life program because I still have a passion for young moms.
We have an opportunity to change. The hope that Christ gives us inspires me. No matter what I do, I still have an opportunity to make it better. To know that I can share my testimony to make somebody else's life better.
Count your blessings. Always write down and remember the things that God does for you because we often forget. Make each day better than the last. Don't forget to reach out to somebody for help and help someone else." - Whitney, Shawnee