Our TeenLeader program exists to offer multiple ways to further connect with those teens that we mentor/disciple. Since 2001, we have learned that teenagers growing up in these communities face unique and dangerous circumstances. We have learned through other "Best Practices" such as Urban Promise in Camden, NJ and Homeboy Industries in East Los Angeles, that teens need a variety of genuine, caring and consistent programs to plug into.
We know that the development of relationships with teenagers is crucial and that such relationships happen over time and in a variety of applications.
We interview, hire, train and work with more than 25 teenagers during the summer in our Summer Bible Camps. the TeenLeaders earn a stipend and are involved in training and social functions apart from Summer Bible Camp activities. This fosters a sense of camaraderie with our staff, college interns and each other.
We interview, hire, train and work with at least 10 teenagers that help us make, package and distribute our "Lights of Love" Candles. This factory allows the teenagers to be part of an entrepreneur effort that teaches, first hand, the basics of business. The teenagers are paid a stipend and earn points towards the annual Mission trip to Juarez, Mexico.
Annual Mission Trip to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico:
Each year we fly to El Paso, Texas and work with S.P.J. Ministry in Juarez, Mexico. Our team spends time building homes in the morning then conducts a Summer Bible Camp in the afternoon for the local children. This allows our TeenLeaders to "earn" their way and spend a week serving others while building a deeper sense of camaraderie with our staff. Nightly reflections, and the discussion of each teens future is conducted at this time.
During the school year we host Teen Night. This idea evolved following a double homicide behind our ministry in 2016. We held the traditional candlelight vigil inside our building due to weather and the Lord gave this idea to our staff to make this a weekly event. We host an average of over 25 participants and cover relative topics using both large and small group discussions.