"Thank you very much for this great support in these very hard times that we are going through. Blessings to all the people who did this to help us." -BCM Parent
With everything going on surrounding the pandemic and shelter in place order, our programs have had to adapt to ensure our students are supported, but oftentimes adversity creates new growth and beautiful examples of God at work. We have seen this repeatedly in LiT (Leaders in Training), our high school mentorship program.
Our LiT students have shown tremendous resilience, creativity and leadership during this time. The foundation that has been built through the investment of the students, staff and volunteers over the years is bearing fruit as they make positive choices in their own lives and lead through example among their families and peers. Students are stepping up and sharing their talents, including make-up tutorials and painting techniques, during the Friday hang out hour they initiated. Others are finding opportunities to support friends and neighbors who are struggling, choosing to be generous with their own time, money or other resources. As part of our self-care challenge, students are exercising, eating healthy and getting outside; it’s exciting to see them finding creative ways to take care of their bodies, minds and spirits.
Each week our students, volunteers and staff continue to gather on Zoom (thanks to a generous gift from a church partner) and both attendance and engagement has been high. The weekly meeting is an essential time for check-in, group learning as well as some fun and games. The students have been able to decompress and laugh during competitive group games like Pictionary and Catch Phrase. The current series on relationships has proved to be even more relevant than planned, as students are spending exponentially more time with family members due to sheltering in place, in addition to navigating other relationships in new ways.
Academically, this season has been most challenging for our juniors and seniors. We have been in awe of our seniors, who have managed to have an incredibly positive attitude about missing graduation, especially as students for whom high school graduation is not a given. Thankfully, college acceptance letters have arrived and we have been able to celebrate with our seniors as they get into their top choice colleges and universities! Our juniors’ perseverance in college preparations is humbling, given the many unknowns regarding the future. They have been attending online workshops, searching for colleges and learning about career values and opportunities. The determination they are developing now is growing them into strong students and leaders.
While our students are exemplifying creativity, leadership and resilience during this time, the weight of the challenges they are facing is great. Economic pressure is substantial as most households have lost one or more incomes and families are struggling to pay for basics like food and rent. Many of our families live in small residences along with extended family members or other housemates, making it difficult to find quality study space. With family pressures and mental health concerns, depression and anxiety are common. We also have several students and families with pre-existing medical conditions, and getting treatment during this time is difficult.
Due to the generous gifts of friends like you, BCM has been able to provide direct support through our Family Assistance Fund. We have provided money towards rent and utilities payments, grocery cards, love kits and Chromebooks to students and families. Please continue to pray for families being affected financially, physically and mentally, that they would know God’s peace and presence during difficult times.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33