The Urban Youth Crisis
Young people in the inner city desperately lack spiritual, relational, and emotional guidance.
The majority of students in Urban Youth Excel come from a single parent or guardian 95% poverty level households. 98% are from minority cultures (a risk marker) and attend urban schools that have a 53% graduation rate, putting these kids at risk of becoming societal statistics. They face challenges that are prevalent in the inner city such as hopelessness, dysfunctional relationships, peer pressures of gangs and drugs and a lack of support.
Urban kids also face a lack of spiritual direction. Most do not have a personal relationship with Christ, and those that do struggle with their faith due to negative influences in the inner city. Often kids turn to gangs and drug cultures to find acceptance and love but these solutions often have deadly outcomes.
It is our passion at Urban Youth Excel to meet these challenges head on by providing spiritual mentors to meet with kids, introducing them to Christ, build them in their faith and turn them into leaders who will help others become leaders and role models in their community. The dysfunction and instability of the urban environment are merely symptoms of the grave spiritual crises gripping the Inner City. Social program are not enough as they merely wipe the wound but do not transform the injury.
Urban Youth Excel helps provide a solution to the brokenness faced by at-risk youth by meeting kids where they are through an urban youth mentor, who will lead them in a relationship with the Lord and a home church that will surround them with Christian community. We intentionally partner with existing ministries, agencies, schools and churches to foster community, build stability and allow for the better use of all our resources and gifts to meet the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of kids in the city.
Urban young people will benefit deeply by the relationships with their leaders who care and nurture them, sometimes as a surrogate parent. Psychologist Dr. Earl Donelson of Samaritan Counseling Centers states, While the world around us may spin out of control, children will continue to look to us for guidance in developing their own sense of what is important in life. (The Importance of Values and Morals).
Research has documented that without role models and caring adults in the lives of children, they will be more apt to make negative life choices. In addition, young people who may be tempted to turn to negative entities for emotional support and spiritual confusion such as gangs or cults will have a positive place to turn instead.