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Voices of Hope & Challenge

I have the privilege of participating with From Gangs To Jobs as the Chairman of the Board.  I have known Natividad, Director of From Gangs to Jobs since he arrived in the Phoenix area in 2006.   Each year we have been able to extend our reach.   Below I have relayed the voices of two individuals whose lives have been touched. 

 

Join Us To Meet 2019’s Challenges:

This past year was one of our most effective and challenging.  As we look to 2019 we are mindful that your continued needed investment will enable us to ignite hope among those who yearn for a transformed life direction. 

 

The Practical Heartbeat of From Gangs to Jobs: 

The heartbeat of Natividad, his family, our volunteers, and Board of Directors, is this mission:  

 

To ignite hope among the poor and broken, transforming their life direction. 

 

Hope is ignited in these very straightforward ways. 

  1. Life obstacles preventing progress are identified and a plan is developed to address them.
  2. Supportive relationships are developed that will encourage a new life direction.
  3. Life skills are developed that will provide the means to successfully navigate their new direction in life.
  4. Soft job skills are developed that will provide the means to successfully secure and keep employment.
  5. Assistance is provided to secure a job or pursue continuing education.
  6. Alumni who are further along on the path to success follow up with recent graduates to encourage and assist.

Hope and action are inspired with a real-life example that change can happen, a relationship to mentor along the way, and a practical plan.

 

Graduate Voices:

This is all easier said than done.  I had conversations recently with two graduates of the program to listen to their voice.  One graduated in August 2018 this year, the other graduated in 2012.

Voices of Hope Challenge

 

What do you hear in their voice?

 

The most helpful things I learned in the classes:

  • If you keep on the same path in life you won’t get anywhere.
  • I learned how to hold myself accountable. How not to put yourself in the wrong situation, how to recognize and tell yourself to get out of that situation. 
  • I learned how to do a budget. There is a difference between needs and wants.
  • The key thing is saving money and staying content.
  • To be successful means being able to get my own things and share the rest with other people.

 

The advice I would give those currently taking the class: 

  • Once you get out, throw away your cell phone. Opening your old phone opens the past again.  Too much of the past can really trip you up.  Start with a new phone. 
  • Take heed of the message. Take it seriously.  Be willing to be open-minded towards everything talked about [in class]. 
  • Really believe in yourself and the program. It will help you the rest of your life.

 

My current challenges:

  • I need a form of transportation. Just started saving and it may take 3-6 months.
  • I have a short fuse. Don’t let myself get upset. 

 

Anything else?

  • Life is fast in the world out there. By the time you know it, it’s dark, and you have to get up tomorrow and do it all over again.
  • Have the fellas receive a pizza or some kind of incentive. You need to stay hungry.

 

Together, with your investment, we can do it all over again:

 

You can invest in three important ways:

  1. Make a financial contribution before December 31st, and again in 2019
    • Our annual budget of $80,000 would be met by:
    • 60 people giving $50/month
    • Plus 55 people giving $800 / year (the amount equal to the AZ Working Poor Tax Credit for married couples)
  1. Commit yourself to pray for current participants and graduates.
    • They face supernatural challenges.
  1. Connect us with others who are hungry for the same heartbeat.

 

Staying Hungry:

In the Christmas season, I am disarmed by the profound truth found in the carols with the term “Emmanuel.”  “God with us.”  His presence brings hope. 

I was disarmed by one of our graduates play on words, “You need to stay hungry.”

  • We are hungry for hope to be ignited.
  • Hungry for our continued presence in the lives of those needing life transformation.
  • We are hungry for your participation with us.

 

Please accept our collective humble and deep gratitude for your investment with us. 

Staying hungry,

Richard Speck

Board Chair

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