Students gather at Oscar Smith High School every Tuesday at the end of the day. The church van picks the students up from school after they have had a snack and takes them to the local YMCA. The students are given the opportunity to participate in all of the available Y activities. After about an hour and a half of free time facilitated and supervised by adult mentors, the students walk over to the church for a well-balanced and hot meal.
The students’ families join the students for dinner along with church members and guests. Every student is paired with a mentor who also joins the students for dinner and fellowship. Child care is provided for the mentors, volunteers, and families that have younger children. At the end of the meal EVERYONE participates in character building games and activities that focus on respecting diversity, team work, communication, and help to build a strong sense of community amongst all the participants. Following activity time the students are given an hour to work with their individual mentors on school work.
While the students work with their mentors, parent workshops are available to help support the entire family. We present ideas on financial planning, academic planning for their students, GED training, and provide support for parents who do not speak English as their first language. The ultimate goal is to create an emotionally safe, intentional community based on authentic, genuine relationships that emphasizes trust, love, and encouragement made up of people from all walks of life regardless of their church membership.