Harambee Alumni Share Wisdom, Plans for Future

Please join us in congratulating Harambee’s first ever middle school class as they celebrate their recent graduation from high school and begin life’s newest adventure.

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with a few of our grads whose next step includes attending college and moving into a ministry house.

Looking forward to college and ministry house life

Deon graduated from Centennial High School in May. He plans to begin his studies at Columbus State Community College and later transfer to The Ohio State University. He intends to major in Architecture.

Deon believes that surrounding himself with positive influences is the best way to ensure success during this formative transition from high school to college. He intends to continue his involvement in a college home church and living in a ministry house with other young men.

Deon Now and Then

Deon Now and Then

“I knew moving into a ministry house would be the best move for me. God has placed many people in my life these past four years from my home church who have helped shape me into who I am today. They have pushed me to grow in ways that seemed impossible. They helped keep my head in the right place and gave me advice on life issues that helped me avoid problems others encountered. I’m thankful God placed me in an environment where I can be open and express myself.”

Fellow Harambee classmate, Jahlil, is also enrolled at Columbus State this fall and ultimately intends to pursue an Engineering degree at Ohio State. Jahlil’s friendships in the body of Christ have also shaped him into the man he has become. “I’ve been blessed to have God change me into a more patient, selfless person as a result having friends who care deeply for me. Now, I’m looking forward to experiencing greater fellowship as a part of a home church and when I move into the ministry house. ”

Harambee’s impact on my life 

 The future looks bright for Deon and Jahlil. Since their graduation from high school, both have reflected on the impact Harambee had on them. Deon extoled the valuable role that the school played in his life. “Harambee helped me get started on the right foot as I entered high school by instilling a strong work ethic in me. The school has the most loving teachers, and they always pushed us to succeed.”

Jahlil Now and Then

Jahlil Now and Then

Both grads also agree that participating in the small group Bible studies during their time at the school played an important role in the direction they’ve chosen for themselves. “Thanks to my middle school small group, my interest in God was sparked from a young age, and I always wanted to learn more about Him,” Deon added. Likewise, Jahlil formed life changing relationships with God and others. “My time at Harambee was very important to me because it is where I started my relationship with God and made important friendships that are still with me to this day.”

Wisdom for those heading into high school

Jahlil has an important reminder for the eighth graders who recently graduated from Harambee: “You’re not alone to ‘run your race.’ God is there for you, and he’s placed people in your life who care about you and want you to have spiritual and academic success.”

Where can they find such people? According to Jahlil, “Being in a high school home church, and now the college group, has been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve seen my personality and character grow drastically for the better, and I have God to thank for that.”

Declaring His Faith

Declaring His Faith

Deon offers similar advice: “Surround yourself with positive influences. I’ve seen people go down down the wrong path quickly because they had no positive role models in their lives. If you want to walk with God, invest in your home church and the people there. I did, and it was one of the best decisions of my life.”

The staff and volunteers of Urban Concern & Harambee Christian School feel truly privileged to be a part of these grads’ lives, and we look forward to continue walking with them as they become a new generation of leaders for our community and the world.

So many people have contributed to the success of our graduates: parents and other family members, teachers, mentors, Bible study leaders, financial partners, and more. We thank each and every person who has played a role in helping to shape young men like Deon, Jahlil, and their classmates.

Michael Larson