I heard a story the other day that I just can’t shake.
A young man, Jerome, was awarded a scholarship to Wheaton College through the Posse Foundation. Jerome was transported from his high school in The Bronx to Wheaton’s beautiful campus in Illinois. He had access to everything he needed to succeed at Wheaton, including a support team supplied through Posse. But Jerome didn’t make it past his first semester before dropping out. Why? In his words, Jerome simply believed he didn’t belong there…wasn’t deserving of a college education.
A young lady, Melanie, attended the same public high school as Jerome and was in his graduating class. Everyone always told Melanie that she’d be president when she grew up. She was that smart, and that motivated. When Melanie arrived as a freshman at this school and found that it had no advanced placement classes or library, she concluded that instead of being prepared for college, she and her classmates were being prepared to, in her words, “flip burgers” for the rest of their lives. She, too, sadly chose to believe that she was not worthy of a college education or a bright future outside of the poverty-stricken neighborhood in which she’d grown up. She struggles today as a single mom, and wonders every day what might have been if she’d chosen to believe something different.
The core belief that Jerome and Melanie share is that they are essentially worthless. They believe that they have nothing to offer the world, and so, are undeserving of anything good in it.
These beliefs are false. And we Christians, we are the truth-bearers.
How can we communicate to this generation of children that they are valuable beyond what they can imagine? How can we show them the great love that resides in the Father’s heart for them?
How can we convince them that He made them for a purpose, and gave them gifts to share with the world and glorify Him?
Well…we’re working on it. There are so many factors that come into play in a child’s perspective of his or her place in the world. But we do have the opportunity to become one of those factors…one of those voices in their lives that help form their ideas of themselves and who they were made to be.
Shine has created a database for the purpose of offering special guest presenters to the teachers at A. Montoya Elementary. It is our hope that a teacher could look on our database and find a biologist, a lawyer, a business owner, a stay-at-home parent, a chef, a politician, an artist, and YOU…a person who would be willing to come in once or twice a year to speak to his class or help him develop a special activity that pertains to your area of expertise.
The goals of this database are as follows:
- Lend support to our teachers. Teaching in a Title 1 school means that you fight the core beliefs Jerome and Melanie formed at young ages. This is not an easy task. Help them change these precious kids’ minds about themselves, and give the teachers new depth to their lessons. Show the teachers they’re not alone in their fight for this generation.
- Show the kids their worth. They won’t believe they’re worth your It means a lot when you step out of your busy, important life to be with them. It demonstrates our core belief that God loves them.
- Encourage the kids to dream. When you, a real person from their own community (NOT a teacher) tells them that a bright future is within their reach, it sticks a bit more than when their teacher says it. In fact, you may be the person that causes them to believe it.
Please consider adding yourself to the list of potential presenters. We need artists, scientists, writers, stay-at-home parents, crafters, runners, business people, and YOU! Please click on the following link to fill out the form to be added to the database. Praise God that we get to be part of His transformative work!
Click here to learn more about Shine and all the ways they serve students, teachers and families at A. Montoya!
All MCC Ministry in person meetings are suspended at this time BUT many ministries are reaching out through phone calls, emails and digital platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and Googlemeetings. Contact your ministry leader to see if this is an option for you!