YOU MATTER: Serving Youth Education with RedZone Ministries
After earning a Master's of Education from the University of Tennessee and spending time teaching at a Title 1 school, Whitney Williams found herself being called to more. She spent a year following God's calling of Ministry, before she received an unlikely phone call from her sister that would change her life.
Whitney's sister had found the dream job, working with RedZone ministries, an organization Whitney had never even heard of, but she knew it was where she was called to be. So, she packed up her car and drive across the country before her interview was even scheduled.
RedZone Ministries is an evangelical outreach ministry that is working towards the social and spiritual renewal of Orange Mound (Memphis, TN) by building strong children, strong families, and strong communities. RedZone serves urban youth between the ages of 9-18 through outreach, education, recreation, and housing. Throughout the school year RedZone opens their doors to over 300 students with an after school program focusing on improving academics, attendance, and behavior with tutoring, ACT Prep, character development, bible studies, sports, and so much more! Summers are spent diving deeper into the Gospel at a week long sports and recreation camp and then back in Memphis to finish break with fun, service projects, and job training.
Whitney's experiences at RedZone Ministries has taught her so much about empowering students. She encourages students to break down barriers by trading "I can't" for new experiences, and faith in their creator. "Education, by means of access and exposure, in my world comes in all shapes and sizes. For one high schooler, it may be learning how to properly hook up a hose to a faucet as we wash cars for profit, for another it may be breaking down the Gospel and accepting Christ for the first time, for others its capitalizing on talents and finding hobbies, and for all, it is setting academic and career goals that are attainable and reaching them," says Whitney.
She remembers one of her most rewarding experiences being a spoken word event, where students wrote and performed for the city. Three students were offered scholarships to a prestigious private college in memphis that night.
Executive Director, Howard Eddings, says, "Research clearly points to the fact that education extends well beyond the classroom, that a student's community and family environment significantly impact their education process, development, success. I've been blessed to be a part of the redemptive and transformational process that has taken place in so many young people's lives. I've been privileged to see kid's mentality shift in so many ways. . .from dependence to interdependence, from betterment to empowerment."
Sevenly is honored to share the stories of incredible world changers valuing education. Head over to our Education Collection this week to support children in building bright futures. #BecausePeopleMatter