New Internship Program Trains Harambee Alumni to Lead
While Urban Concern has evolved in significant ways as a ministry since its original inception in 1991, one thing has remained its constant stamp: A vision to develop a new generation of leaders for our community and the local church.
This year, a brand new Youth Ministry Internship has been created in order to help qualified alumni take a major step forward in their desire to lead for God by equipping them with valuable training in ministry and providing meaningful opportunities for them to put this training into work.
Youth Ministry Director Brandon Grant, who is overseeing the internship, has worked for years with the hope of being able to create a formal training program for Harambee alumni who want to lead. Not only are the resources now available, but there are also many Harambee alumni who are qualified, capable, and passionate about filling this role.
We’re excited to announce that Dominique Hawkins has been selected as the first ever alum to take on this important role!
Dom, who is now 24, came to Christ in the 8th grade after graduating Harambee and attending Calumet Christian School. (At the time, Harambee only served students in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade.) After reading more about God on a camping trip with his class, Dom made the decision to place his faith in Jesus.
Dom’s mother enrolled him in Harambee for Kindergarten, where Mrs. Cleary became his first teacher. Going to school wasn’t always easy for Dom, however, because like many he experienced bullying. However, Harambee afforded him the opportunity he enjoyed most about school, which was to read and learn more about Jesus.
Having been a part of the high school and college ministries at Xenos Christian Fellowship, Dom developed a burden to help others from tougher backgrounds. After talking with Brandon Grant about returning to Harambee to serve as a leader, Dom knew he couldn’t pass it up: “I saw this as a good opportunity to learn leadership skills and and how to lead without a title in a behind the scenes role.”
What made Brandon confident that he’d be a good fit? “I’ve known Dom for some time now, and I’ve always admired his willingness to stand apart from the crowd and commit himself to the things he’s passionate about, namely, being a follower of Jesus Christ. Dom is someone whom the students can look up to. He has experienced many ups and downs in life, yet has decided to go all out for God which is amazing!”
On what he hopes Dom gets out of serving in his new role, Brandon says, “I desire to see Dom become a mature man of God and someone the students he serves look up to. Dom is an “all in” kind of person and this is very important in serving students who specifically lack male role models, especially ones who are willing to stick it out with them week in and week out.” To those ends, Dom has been serving weekly in a junior high boys Bible study and in Harambee’s After School Program.
What are Dom’s personal goals for participating in the internship? “I’m eager to build good friendships with Harambee students, as well as being able to reflect more on my internal life and how I can be fully used by God in His Kingdom.”
Dom’s already well on his way to being a good friend to Harambee students. Harambee 6th grader, Michael Watson, who gets the privilege of riding with Dom to Bible study every Sunday, appreciates him for many reasons: “Mr. Dom is always kind to us and shows good sportsmanship when we play basketball together. We also like the same kind of music. I am grateful that he prays for us.”
Dom is on track to be a part of The Fantastic 50 – 50 Harambee alumni who are pursuing college or career and participating in discipleship in the local church by 2025. Join us in praying for Dom as he continues to serve in this important new role.
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