Liberty Road Foundation is proud to be partnering with Jubilee REACH Center in Bellevue. A portion of last year’s 8th Annual Charity Auction’s Fund-A-Need went toward sponsoring a team in their Club Jubilee athletics program. Volunteering with this program, and others, draws us out of our comfort zone.
Today’s teens are making decisions about whether or not to join a gang or maybe a team or a club after school. Studies show that some of society’s big problems such as bullying, gangs, drug and alcohol addiction and human trafficking are rooted in the early middle school years. By the time these issues are manifested in a kid’s life, the problems are so deeply rooted and interconnected that they are hard, costly and painful to solve. What’s more, they spread, disrupting home life, community life and society.
That’s what we love about School REACH. Club Jubilee Site Coaches and volunteers are able to interact and intervene at the most critical time in a kid’s life. They can offer a better path that many have never been exposed to or imagined they could choose. Carlos Willcuts, Site Coach for Highland Middle School, was once one of those kids
“My heart longed for love, to be a part of something. Mom walked away when I was 2 leaving a void in my heart. Seeking to fill it, I joined a gang at age 13. At 16, when leaving a nightclub (yes, a nightclub!), a black car circled behind me – big men from a rival gang jumped out. Using the butt of their pistols like hammers they beat my head and kicked my body. I was bleeding profusely, clinging to life in the back of an ambulance when the EMT held my hand and said, ‘You are too young to be in this condition. If you are going to die at such a young age, you need to know Jesus. Can I pray for you?’ Though I had heard my bitter dad rail against Jesus my whole life, there was something I sensed in her and I said, ‘Yes.’ As she prayed, I felt a love I had never experienced before, it filled the void in my heart. I was never the same.”
“Today, I care for kids just like I was, looking for love, to belong, something to fill the void. In my first week as a Club Jubilee Site Coach I met Aldo. His behavior was familiar to me; wrong choices, wrong crowd, doing the wrong things, but longing to be a part of something more. I took him and several others like him into the gym; with some orange cones to mark goals, we started playing soccer. Following gang life, sports was where I found the community I had yearned for. The soccer team became Aldo’s new gang and soon his grades improved. Three years later, Aldo showed up at my youth group. He asked me about Jesus and, like me in the back of that ambulance, he accepted Jesus as his Savior. Today, Aldo is also one of my assistant coaches.”
“No doubt, I was the least likely to be selected to start Jubilee REACH’s first After School Program in a middle school; a young Hispanic and former gang banger. Now, I’m one of seven Club Jubilee Site Coaches who are loving kids, helping them make good choices, allowing them to belong to something bigger than self – a sports team, a band, a Robotics or afterschool club – a ‘gang for good,’ a caring, accountable community. We Site Coaches all have a visible office within the school and we get to help in classrooms, the lunchroom, the counselor’s office, serving the student’s needs in our busy schools.”