Alumni Return to Cast Vision for Following God
Evolving Point Break
Point Break is designed to raise awareness about the impacts of bullying, while fostering friendships between the students. Five years ago when Youth Ministry Director, Brandon Grant, saw how impactful the workshop was among students, he decided to expand the scope to include a larger emphasis on Christ and His ability to help them overcome challenges, as well as issues surrounding dating & relationships, and how to grow in love for others.
This year’s theme has been decades in the making, as Urban Concern & Harambee Christian School’s main emphasis has always been raising up student leaders who can return and lead others. According to Brandon, “For a while, we’ve desired to get some of our alumni back to talk with current students. This year just seemed right considering Dom and Jameka are in their mid-twenties and thriving on multiple levels.” The value of having alumni lead is evident to Brandon: “Instead of hearing from the teachers or me, they would be hearing from students closer to their age who have successfully navigated things like high school, peer pressure, and giving their lives over to God’s plan.”
A Shared Perspective
Leading the workshop, it was clear that Dom and Jameka’s shared personal experiences resonated with Harambee students and caught their undivided attention: “It was helpful for them to know that I was once in their shoes and had learned that I need to turn to others and open up about what is going on with me. I know it’s easy to to bottle things up and not turn to others for help but lash out,” says Dom.
Jameka’s own hindsight of being a student at Harambee was especially helpful in connecting with how current students may have felt: “I had grown up going to Harambee but didn’t fully realize the blessing it was to have teachers who truly cared about me and wanted to see me grow.”
Both Dom and Jameka had special takeaways they wanted students to leave the event with: To Dom, one of the most important things he wanted to communicate was the importance of building unity as a class and letting others into your struggles. Jameka’s chief aim was to provide students with “a chance to have their questions answered about God and what it could be like for God to play a part in their lives if they are willing to give Him a try!”
And while both Dom and Jameka were there to impart wisdom, they left encouraged and built up, themselves, by the current generation. In Jameka’s words, “Being able to see the ways God is pursuing each girl that I worked with and how soft some of their hearts are to God makes me hopeful they will pursue their relationship with Him. They clearly want the security, hope, and love, that only God can provide.”
Vision for the Future
At the end of the day, students left the workshop experiencing a wide range of emotions, but each had a positive vision cast for what it looks like to follow God. And like Dom & Jameka, current students already started thinking about ways they want to give back to the next generation:
“I want to be a mentor because I want to help young people with their problems and help them grow with God,” said 6th grader, Ashyra.
The Value of Sharing Your Steps
What did Brandon think of this year’s workshop? “This year was special. The decision to bring in Dom and Jameka to lead this year’s meeting was a no brainer and clear answer to prayer.” Of the power of their personal stories, Brandon reflects: “I’ve known Jameka since she was in 8th grade, and I think the most powerful part of her testimony is her witness for God to her family. For Dom, I was able to meet him midway through his high school years, and I can remember him wrestling with what he wanted to do with his future as most high school students do. What I think sets him apart is, he made the decision to follow God without the influence of parents or other family members – it was his decision, and he’s owned it, which I think is highly commendable. Both Dom and Jameka have had to overcome major challenges in life but have put their faith in God and now serve students whose shoes they once walked in. It was an answer to prayer to have these two step forward and share their life stories with the students.”
Dom and Jameka are a part of The Fantastic 50: Harambee’s 10 year vision to help raise up 50 alumni who are pursuing college or career and serving in the local church by the year 2025. Help us raise up others in The Fantastic 50. Sign up for prayer updates , fill out a volunteer application, or make a contribution to the Harambee Scholarship Fund on our website!