Anna (name changed) is one of our 6th grade students in CREATE Studios, our after-school academic program for middle school students. She has been with BCM since the 2nd grade, first joining KidSmart and Bible Club. She easily transitioned into CREATE Studios, StreetWorkz (middle school spiritual program) and spent the last two summers in CREATE Academy. Anna was fully engaged in almost all that BCM has to offer.
It took us by surprise that after Christmas break, Anna began missing programs. Waniya, CREATE’s program manager, called her family. No answer came, so Waniya asked one of Anna’s classmates if he had seen her at school. Yes, she had been at school and seemed fine. After numerous phone calls to her home, Waniya received a note from Anna that said she would not be returning to BCM and she was sorry.
Luke 15 discusses a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son, each story just a bit different yet important to illustrate that God cares for those who are lost, no matter the reason. At BCM we hope to offer that same grace and love to others. When a student appears “lost,” we want them to know they are welcome back at BCM.
Anna appeared lost to us. We knew we needed to make sure she was okay. Waniya asked Roberto, a fellow staff member, to wait with her after school and sure enough, Anna eventually came out with her mom. With Roberto as an interpreter, Waniya learned that Anna was fine, but her mom had asked her to do her homework at home as some unexpected financial obligations took precedence over our program fees. Though we charge a small amount for our programs, this was still a burden to Anna’s family. We value our students and desire to offer grace, including financially, and don’t deny families because of their inability to pay. Waniya explained that money should not be a hurdle to her participation and let her mom know that we wanted Anna back in program as soon as possible.
At 3:30pm that same afternoon, Anna walked back into our doors with a smile on her face, backpack on her back, and returned to her normal spot, ready to complete her homework! Losing Anna was not an option for us. She is a part of the BCM family and being a lost family member just isn’t going to happen on our watch.
This story was recently shared by Cassie, BCM’s Director of Ministries, in our fund request letter.
Students work on an art project at Create Studios.
Outside the Classroom
BCM takes Create students on a hiking fieldtrip.
The student featured (and many other Create students) attend KIPP Middle School