Every afternoon at 3:15, the Rev. Chad Anglemyer looks from his vantage point upon what he calls "a procession of hopefulness."
He sees 50 or more students making their way across a busy street from nearby Burke High School straight to the doors of St. Luke's Teen Center. The ministry provides a safe, nourishing space for teens who might otherwise have no place to go during the late afternoon hours.
Abbey Jackson (left) and Ena Boldern flank recent Teen Center graduate Karen Bravo of Omaha, Nebraska.
"Early on," she recalls, "we provided tutoring and a safe place for students, but every year, we figure out the obstacles our students are facing and add more programming."
Today Teen Center provides one-on-one tutoring by as many as 10 of the school's teachers, a recreation program, warm meals, books, supplies, computers and other tech resources, and a robust college-prep initiative developed with the U.S. Department of Education. The ministry extends to the students' families. For many, the Teen Center is their first place to address issues from food insecurity to navigating the labyrinth of obtaining college financial aid. As many as 150 students participate each year. Yet, for all the resources it offers, both teens and adults are quick to cite the ministry's most valuable asset – the safe, loving and encouraging relationships forged between students, staff and volunteers.
Read more from the Interpreter Magazine, here.