A Former Convict Shares His Story To Boys AIM Program

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Mr. Ralph Lee works with Mr. Mike at Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home, and is one of Mr. Mike’s hero’s and mentors. Mr. Lee was our guest speaker for our recent AIM Celebration, where we honor our Academic Incentive for Mentees winners. Junior and senior high boys and girls receive monetary awards for academic success each semester, and special gifts are awarded for highest grade point average and most improved grade point average. Mr. Lee told his story about how he “did it all” when he was growing up. Every bad choice was made and consequences were real. Mr. Lee spent over 15 years in prison and life in prison, like growing old, is not for sissies. He counted noses and told the boys that if the averages are true, that 80% of the boys would taste prison life for themselves. Mr. Lee is celebrating 20 plus years of sobriety and encouraged the boys to find out who they really are, develop positive passions, follow their passions, and make good choices. Thank you Mr. Lee for sharing your story and being brutally honest.

 

SAYM Loses One, Heaven Gains One

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How do you say goodbye to a 10 year old boy, especially when you do not know that he will be involved in an accident that claims his life. On Tuesday afternoon 1-20-15, Christian was walking with his big sister, to a church near his home when he was hit by a car and later died at the hospital. Christian and 3 of his brothers and 2 of his sisters have been faithfully attending SAYM mentoring programs for about a year. Christian, like his brothers was 100% boy, full of energy,very little fear, and “always” hungry. Christian is pictured above; in the group photo of our annual buffalo ranch trip, he is front row, second from right next to his younger brother Jimmy and his good buddy Dollen. Christian’s brother Jaden is next to Dollen.

The mission of SAYM is to break generational poverty. We believe that the children and students entrusted to our ministry by God can learn perspective and skills to break free of the poverty mindset and become productive citizens without making a decision to follow Jesus. However, we are a faith based ministry, and we believe the dignity and value one possesses once they become a child of God, results in an exponential  increase in the success quotient for breaking the chains of generational poverty.

Jesus said “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 19:14 ESV). Christian heard the gospel explained many times at SAYM and at church. Christian eventually understood the gospel, and decided he needed a Savior and the Jesus Christ was that Savior. And yes, the angels rejoiced in heaven when Christian made that decision… Luke 15:10 Jesus tells His disciples, “Just so, I tell you, that there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

So while we will miss Christian, and while we grieve along with his family, we are grateful for his decision to accept the free gift of salvation that he understood as the good news of Jesus Christ.

Please allow this blog as a reminder to hug those whom you love, tell people how much you care for them, share the gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ, be intentional about what is truly important to yourself….for we do not know if others we love will have tomorrow here on earth, or if we will be granted another day here on earth ourselves.

 

2014 – A YEAR IN REVIEW: MENTEES SPEND SUMMER PLAYING FOOTBALL

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Mentees, Durrell Glover, Jacquez Elkins, and Lavel Frazier, spent their summer time hitting, running, and tackling as members of their respective peewee bantam football teams.  Durrell and Lavel were both members of the Varsity Garfield Rams bantam … [Continue reading]

2014 – A YEAR IN REVIEW: MENTEE, TAEVON MILLER, RECEIVES LEADERSHIP MEDAL FROM MILITARY OFFICERS ASSOCIATION

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In May of last year, mentee, Taevon Miller, a sophomore at East Community Learning Center  was recognized by the Military Officers Association of America's Ohio Western Reserve Chapter (MOOAA)  for the leadership that he shows as a member of the … [Continue reading]

“That’s Not Fair!”

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It seems that in every economic strata, children have a tendency to resist associating rewards to performance and effort and choices. If I had a dollar for every time one of our kids tell myself or another leader "that's not fair" I would be a rich … [Continue reading]

SAYM Girls Receive Special Blessing

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Miss Sharon leads our Elementary School girls ministry with passion and energy and efficiency. Miss Sharon and Miss Raina teach the 2nd to 4th grade girls on Thursday night girls mentoring, and they belong to Grace Church in Bath. Grace Church has … [Continue reading]

Senior High Boys Attend Zips Football Game

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Brandon, Tray, and JJ are high school students at Garfield High School. Last night, after selecting McDonald's for pre-game nourishment( which included a bakers dozen hot chocolate chip cookies),  the students attended the nationally televised game … [Continue reading]

Elementary Boys Learn to Swim at The Y

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18 elementary boys participated in the YMCA Make A Splash Program. The boys were picked up on Monday and Wednesday for four weeks of one hour swimming lessons where they learned to swim, learned to put their head underwater, learned to not fear the … [Continue reading]

Brothers Enjoy Browns Beating Of Burgh-town Boys

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Derell and Kristian enjoyed attending their first NFL game Sunday as they witnessed the Browns whallop their arch rival Pittsburgh Steelers 31-10. The brothers chose pizza and fries for a "pre-game meal" and popcorn and more fries for snacks during … [Continue reading]

Is There A Doctor In The House?

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Reverend Mark Tony Ward possesses the heart of a Pastor, and now has the diploma to prove he has been blessed with the mind of a Doctor. Pastor Ward has earned his Doctorate of Ministry with an emphasis on Strategic Leadership from Faith Evangelical … [Continue reading]