Molly, a rising senior at Menlo-Atherton High School, has always loved working with kids and it’s been a big part of her summer plans each year. Back in January 2020, she was considering what to do this summer and was hoping to do international missions work, particularly someplace where she could work on her Spanish language skills. As she was asking around at her church (Menlo Church), someone recommended she reach out to BCM. Through Covid, God eliminated any opportunities to go abroad and Molly signed on to help with KidSmart Summer Bridge at BCM. She was truly a Godsend and an answer to our prayers at BCM!
Molly felt very welcome her first week, but it was also a steep learning curve, as she was new to BCM, the schedule, the layout, the students and the staff. Not to mention learning how to run in-person programs safely during a pandemic. If you've ever met Molly, you’ll know she’s energetic and a go-getter. She jumped right in with both feet, helping with core academics, serving snack and lunch, monitoring masks and teaching outstanding science workshops to our elementary students.
Molly is passionate about environmental science and sustainability, and teaching science workshops at BCM this summer gave her a first-time opportunity to integrate this passion with her love of working with youth. She had the students learning about the human body and thermoreceptors as well as creating model oil spills with vegetable oil, water, clay and toy animals. They had to figure out how to clean up the oil and learned that even the best solutions have consequences. Molly was fascinated by how the students interacted with science – their opportunistic approach, their perspective on the content and their optimism further fueled her passions for both science and youth.
God was also at work in other ways. One of the students was very closed off at the start of the program; he didn’t want to work and wished he was at home playing video games. Through the positive and engaging approach of the staff and volunteers, this student opened up and became confident. He began to show initiative in the classroom and chose to take responsibility for his own learning. “It was amazing to see this transformation happen in front of me. I knew it had to be God at work,” Molly observed.
Another student entered the program having trouble making connections with others but by the end he was thriving. Molly reflects, “There are so many negative aspects to the pandemic, but the individualized support and attention this student received as a result of smaller group size was just what he needed. Because of the current restrictions, God put us in small, contained groups and I was able to see that you can make an impact no matter the situation. When a leader takes the time to sit and listen deeply to a student, the student realizes that what they have to say is important, that they are important. The transformation I saw in the lives of these students is significant.”
As Molly prepares to enter her senior year of high school in the midst of the pandemic, we trust God will continue to give her eyes to see Him at work and opportunities to use her positive, contagious energy to do good in the world around her. We are grateful for her willingness to serve at BCM this summer despite Covid challenges, and for the important role she played in bringing hope and a future to our students.
Photo credit: C Mitchel