I must say that I am quite honored to be guest blogging here for Marquis today. I’ve only known her for a few weeks through the wonderful world of blogging, but I am totally in love with her heart for God, family and youth/children’s ministry.
Keeping in line with Marquis’ obvious passion for teaching youth/children, she asked that I introduce you all to an organization that is very dear to my heart; CodeBLUE Youth Mentoring.
CodeBLUE is a program started by me and my eldest sister in the Fall of 2007. Our goal is to provide mentorship for young girls ages 13-15 in Mobile County, Alabama. Each mentee is selected by their school guidance counselor and then paired with a collegiate young woman to mentor them for one year. To date, we have mentored over 60 young ladies and the program has been implemented in five schools throughout the years. Our goal is to show them that they do not have to settle for simply becoming whatever society has said they are allowed to become, but that they are instead destined to become exactly who God has ordained them to become.
When I was their age, I was very caught up in my image and the social scene. My personality was the result of being influenced by negative media outlets that told me that because I was a woman I needed to be aggressive in order be respected by men, that because I was African-American I needed to be constantly proving myself to other races, that because I had a nice figure I needed to wear clothes that showed it off, and that because guys wanted to date me I always needed to be in a relationship. These stereotypes caused me to go through some extremely difficult times throughout my teen and early adult years. I was constantly searching for my self-worth in sources other than God, and was consequently leaving each situation even more broken than I’d been before I entered it.
Fortunately, I had women in my life who were determined to see me be more than what I was becoming. Even though I seemed to have it all together on the outside, they could tell I was falling to pieces in my soul. I know that is it had not been for them being in my life, I would not be the woman I am today. Nor would I have the desire to keep pressing towards the goal of being the woman I strive to be in the future.
|Mentoring young girls at Scarborough Middle School in Mobile, AL.|
|Mentoring young girls at Scarborough Middle School in Mobile, AL. All of our mentors are college students.|
People often ask me, do my husband and I have any children. I usually respond with, “No, but I have about 43.” After chuckling at their confused facial expression, I explain CodeBLUE to them and how I consider all of these children to be mine. I love them dearly and pray for them often. When they hurt, I hurt. A couple of weeks ago, I was sent a video of one of our former mentees being horrifically beaten at a local school by a group of girls. I was told that she had developed a very bad attitude in high school and some girls decided to get together to retaliate while someone recorded it. The video has gone wild through social media outlets. I later showed the video to my mentors during their end of the semester evaluations to reignite their desire to be a true change agent in their mentee’s life. I told them, “Do you see this? This is why we do what we do, so that videos like this will cease to exist. So these young ladies will love themselves, one another, and know their Father loves them too.”
This isn’t just a hobby of mine. It’s my life.
So, I leave all of you with one question: “What kind of example are you being to the young girl who is following you? Who are you training her to be? Even you do not see her, trust me, she sees you.
With A Servant’s Heart,