Program Supervisor Jason Goubourn addresses parents and participating youth at the New Haven 828 Summer Youth Initiative Kickoff held in the Youth Room of Church on the Rock-New Haven.
New Haven 828 kicked off its 2006 Youth Initiative with an orientation last night at Church on the Rock. The program actually begins on Monday. Over 80 parents, local pastors and youth participants attended the event. Eight local churches were represented by the 35 young people ages 13-17 who will be participating in this year's program. Pastors attending the kck-off included Pastor Walter Williams from Walk of Faith, Pastor William Mathis from Union Temple Freewill Baptist, and Pastors Todd and Leslie Foster from Church on the Rock.
The summer 2006 program begins Monday, July 31 and will continue for four weeks. The participants will gather at Church on the Rock each morning for a time of reflection and instruction provided by over 20 area leaders. They will be fed lunch and then transported to various work locations throughout the city. Participating youth will receive a weekly stipend of $75. Note: this year's program is filled to capacity, but we are beginning to solicit interest from the greater New Haven Community for next year's expanded program.
Originally named, "Project: Synergy," the vision of Church on the Rock's senior pastor, Todd Foster began in 2004 as an effort to not only keep young people productively busy and provide them with an opportunity to earn a few dollars over the summer, but also to provide them with needed instruction in general life skills, character development and leadership. The overarching desire was to see young people grow in their ability to collaboratively and productively participate in a thriving community. What began in Phase I as a local church program of Church on the Rock is now being rolled out in Phase II as an inter-church effort under the auspices of New Haven 828, a primarily Christian organization. Pastor Foster's original vision and the objective of Phase III to be launched in 2007 is to roll out the program to the greater faith and even secular local communities of New Haven.
In Phase III, the objective will be to provide a practicum wherein participants will learn to get along in a diverse society by celebrating rather than denying, suppressing or ignoring such diversity. Participants will gather Monday through Thursday in their preferred study location (church, mosque, synagogue, community center, etc) for philosophical and spiritual instruction that is oriented to their own belief systems. All week long, the participants will be dispatched to work assignments to work side by side with similar and dissimilar members of the greater New Haven Community.
On each Friday morning during Phase III, all of the diverse groups will join together in one location for instruction in general leadership skills, character and community development. Key public figures will be invited to lead the discussions.
For Further information:
Contact, Phase II Program Director, Pastor Leslie Foster at 203-498-2687, firstname.lastname@example.org