We are pleased to introduce our new Director of Ministries Andrew and our new Operations Manager Jennifer. Both have history with BCM and are excited about returning. Here are their thoughts about rejoining the BCM family.
I was one of BCM's founders and served as Executive Director until 2008, then moved to Austin, Texas and worked in a variety of educational settings and consulting projects. Some of the consulting projects were exciting -- especially working with Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in the Bay Area and with The Refuge (Home for Domestic Minor Victims of Sex Trafficking) in Austin -- but they were short-term. Teaching was more stable but did not seem like a calling.
In January 2018 started my beautiful job with Austin Bridge Builders Alliance (ABBA) but in June it came to an unexpected end. I loved the work of building collaborations among Christian leaders from churches, businesses, non-profits and government. But the ABBA board determined a new direction for the ministry which left no place for me or for the relationships I'd developed. So, I went into job search mode. When the search wasn't ending as quickly as I wanted, I began to look outside of the Austin area. I had two live prospects outside of Texas when I received the newsletter celebrating Cassie Arnold as she stepped down from the Director of Ministries position. "Wait a minute, if I am thinking about jobs in Arkansas and Washington, I have to at least look at the possibility of coming home to the places, people and ministry that I love." That led to a conversation that led to an application, that led to my return to BCM as the Director of Ministries.
I am so excited to return to the Bay Area, to East Palo Alto, and especially, to Bayshore Christian Ministries. I have remained in relationship with the ministry and with Rolando Zeledon in particular. I have tremendous respect for his leadership and am happy to be able to serve with him in a new role. I have been so encouraged to see the ways that BCM has thrived and grown over the years -- especially in community partnerships and the technological focus. The program managers that I'll be working with are terrific. I am impressed with their motivation and care for youth and am excited to work with them, renew relationships with families and leaders in the community, and to participate in the great work God continues to do through this ministry. What a joy it is to enter into this new season of ministering in a place that I know and love well.
I was born in East Palo Alto and raised between here and Chesterfield, VA. Throughout the years I lived in CA, I attended BCM year-round during elementary and middle school. During my time and participation in KidSmart, StreetWorkz and SAIL, I was mentored by so many amazing people and created unforgettable memories and relationships. I was inspired to attend an HBCU after high school and contribute to various activities that allowed me to empower youth in underprivileged communities. I attended colleges in Texas (PVAMU) and Virginia (VSU) pursuing a computer engineering degree. During my time in Virginia, I got married and had a beautiful baby girl. We found our way back to the Bay Area shortly after. Nowadays, when I’m not running all over the Bay Area with my active daughter, I find myself painting, writing poetry, watching anime, trying new foods and traveling. I also enjoy teaching Sunday school at South Bay Community Church.
I have happily accepted the opportunity to serve BCM as their Operations Associate. I am grateful to be able to give back to East Palo Alto in such a meaningful way that contributes to the education of and care for our youth. In the future, I plan to continue my education in the field of computer and electrical engineering in which I would love to create a bridge between both my academic passion and my personal passion.
Jennifer (center) poses for a picture with some of her BCM friends. (Picture taken in 04)
Here is a picture of Andrew taken in 1991.
Here Jennifer and a large of students take a picture during a BCM outing to Universal Studios. (Picture taken in 2006)
Here Andrew and another staff member poses with the “Boys Club”. (Picture taken in 2004)
Here Jennifer poses with some friends at the beach during BCM’s Spring Camp 2007.
Here Andrew and some BCM students take a silly photo. (Picture taken in 2006)