Every Martin Luther King Day, Agape hosts a community-effort service day. This year, Restoration Community Church (planted by former Agape staff member David Hill) hosted the event. Over 150 staff, volunteers, neighbors, and community leaders spent the day restoring run down homes, picking up trash, and conversing over BBQ. Teen direc-
tor Anne Vickers recounts “This is what Martin Luther King day has been like for the past 6 years. What was different about this year, was that the Agape teenagers were the community leaders and not just the frolicsome youth of years past.”
This year, the Agape teens have been hard at work on a special project with the French Art Alliance. Their project is called Heroes of OST (Old Spanish Trail borders our neighborhood). The point of the project is to positively showcase our community and neighbors. Together they will hold an art exhibit displaying portraits of various neighbors. The teens will photograph the neighbors as well as conduct personal interviews about the community. The MLK day project was being used for teens to practice skills they will need for this special project. The teens practiced leadership as they took to Weston St. and picked up every piece of trash. They worked quickly and thoroughly with no complaining, says Vickers. The teens practiced their photography skills, taking pictures and shooting video of the various service projects. They practiced their speaking skills. As the service day came to an end and folks were eating together, Ideyia (12) and Jabori (13) stood to give a speech to over 100 people. They explained their Heroes of OST project and pointed out the shipping container office space they would be using to conduct the interviews. Then the teens walked around to recruit community members to join their project in three ways:
- come to a session to brainstorm ways to decorate the shipping container in a style that represents the community
- join teens as they decorate the shipping container
- be interviewed for the project.
They signed up many adults. Praise the Lord! Growing up in this community and attending Agape’s MLK event for the past several years has had a real impact on these teens. They are now leading the event and making a change in the community.
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