If you’ve ever been to Harambee Christian School, then there’s no doubt you know Ms. Sherry. Longtime volunteer and parent of two Harambee students and one graduate, Sherry Barbour has served faithfully as Harambee’s administrative assistant for the past three years, serving families and helping students reach their full potential. But when a position opened up for third grade teacher over the Summer, Sherry felt God pulling her in a new direction:
“I don’t think there is any way you can be at Harambee for six years and not contemplate teaching. Over the years, I’ve watched the excellent teachers at Harambee affect so many lives. It was an opportunity I knew I couldn’t pass up.”
While serving as administrative assistant and After School Program director, Sherry also worked towards earning her M.Div in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amridge Christian University. (Don’t ask us when she found time to sleep.) Her Bachelor of Science was earned in Human Development.
The real question quickly became not whether Sherry would thrive in the classroom – but who could possibly fill her shoes and wear the many hats of administrative assistant. Enter Tyka.
A recent graduate of The Ohio State University, Tyka Davis started volunteering at Urban Concern in 2012: “Soon after I got involved with UC’s Lighthouse youth bible study, I fell in love with the ministry and the students! I looked forward to every Sunday. Even though it was sometimes the most challenging part of my week, it soon became the most enjoyable.” Tyka grew up in South Linden and had unique insight into the challenges faced by students in our neighborhood.
Although she had just been accepted into graduate school for education, with much prayer Tyka set the opportunity aside to pursue working at Harambee full time, saying, “I considered it to be a dream job.”
Now, both Tyka and Sherry feel they are right where God wants them, using their unique gifts and abilities to help at-risk students become a new generation of leaders in the South Linden community.
Sherry is excited to start a new chapter in her career as teacher, knowing Harambee’s administration is in good hands. She says, “My excitement for teaching comes with seeing the faces of the children each morning. I see little sponges, ready to soak up something each day. I think ‘My God, help me to pour into them what they need for today.’”