Our inaugural outing was a huge success! This short semester (May-June) has 13 students and 9 mentors. Our day began at Railroad Park introducing the program, outlining the semester, and our one rule...RESPECT. Respect for God, others, & surroundings. We then paired off with mentors to set goals for this semester. We really desire to see tangible change in these kids and by setting goals we're able to track progress and encourage these dreams through to fruition.
From the park, we took a short walk to McWane Science Center (http://www.mcwane.org/) and explored tons of concepts in a fun and engaging atmosphere including- physics, chemistry, biology, meteorology, archaeology, mathematics, and logic.
We took a break from the action for lunch and to hear from John Blevins, a civil engineer with 25 years experience in wastewater treatment plant design and construction. John explained how many of the concepts the students were experiencing at McWane were used in the work he had done and education required for his career.
More importantly, John shared his life story and the work he is now doing through his nonprofit Sweetwater Outreach (http://sweetwateroutreach.org/). John lost both his parents in high school and was faced with the same challenge many of our students face- an absent parent. John shared how he had a decision to make- he could blame his situation and drown in self pity or he could rely on God and make the most of what he had. He noted a teacher in high school who told him he wasn't "college material", however John went on to graduate with a civil engineering degree, a 25 year decorated career, and a beautiful family of his own. He recently retired from that career to pursue clean water options in Africa. He shared the challenges facing people in these third world countries and the simple things like clean water we take for granted. The kids were glued to his story and soaked up every bit of it. It was an incredible day!
For June, we'll introduce basic mechanics with our friends Redemptive Cycles and the wide array of career opportunities working with your hands. Our Bike Build Challenge will show how something broken is turned into a purposeful creation.
One last bit of exciting news...the IRS has accepted our 501c3 application and now able to accept donations up to $50,000! We are so very thankful for the incredible amount of support we've already received. These funds allow us to take trips like the one above, provide tuition and fees for camps and tutoring, and hopefully later a college scholarship fund!
For His glory.