Union City News: Blackhawk Campus Life program begins

“As a teenager, it can be quite a struggle to find one’s identity, while respecting authority and not conforming to negative peer pressure. It is for this reason that Jamie Wisner felt compelled to volunteer as a source of guidance for the student body of Mississinawa Valley.” With a heart for Jesus Christ and the youth of our community, Tim Pollitz, John Hannan, Casey Miller and Wisner serve as a group of leaders that desire to minister to the students of Mississinawa Valley School.

They have been meeting together over the past year discussing our mission and praying for God to lay a foundation. As representatives for the organization Youth for Christ, they have been volunteering time at the school each Wednesday talking and interacting with the student body. This group began their efforts by simply hanging out with the students in the library and connecting with them during the lunch period.

They have been very intentional about building relationships and trust with the students. However, after much prayer and discussion, they launched a more organized program on Feb. 10 called Blackhawk Campus Life. Blackhawk Campus Life is a ministry program supported by Youth for Christ. This program works to encourage the development of healthy relationships and positive decision-making skills.

The group will serve as mentors for the youth, helping them establish a solid foundation for life as they transition toward adulthood. During the last 15 minutes of the middle school lunch period, the group will be facilitating activities each Wednesday. These activities will vary from music and games to speakers and prizes. The activities will be geared towards delivering a positive message tailored to address the issues and concerns of the students.

Although the program initially targets seventh- and eighth-grade students, the intent is to eventually expand coverage to the high school, and possibly even the fifth and sixth grades. “Having graduated from Mississinawa Valley, Wisner has a personal connection to this school district. In addition, she has several nieces and nephews that are enrolled at MV, along with her two children.

As a parent, Wisner feel obligated to step up and do her part to ensure that our children are being educated and developed in the most positive and encouraging environment possible.”

Youth for Christ (YFC) is a non-denominational, Christian organization with a focus on Jesus and a commitment to positively impacting young people. YFC empowers Christian leaders to form Jesus-sharing relationships with teenagers in an effort transform their eternity and advocate positive changes in their relationships with others. YFC also enables youth to overcome negative lifestyle choices and deal with the destructive behavior of others. YFC is an international ministry with numerous smaller divisions to serve each local community. Youth for Christ of the Miami Valley is located in Greenville, where an annual banquet is held to share personal testimonies from the students and staff that have been impacted by this not-for-profit organization.

YFC graciously welcomes volunteers and donations to operate their ministry. YFC currently has active programs at Arcanum, Tri Village, and Eaton schools, with potential efforts being made in the Greenville school district.

Wisner states: “I am very excited to be volunteering for Youth for Christ, serving the students of MV as a mentor and a friend. God has burdened my heart for these children, and I have a strong aspiration to lead and support them.”

Don’t forget celebrating 200th Anniversary of Indiana — Please join the Preservation Society of Union City Indiana-Ohio, Inc. in celebrating the 200th anniversary of Indiana in downtown Union City at the Community Room, 103 N. Columbia St. on March 19 at 6 p.m. in downtown Union City. The evening will include a fun evening sharing the heritage and artifacts of Indiana on the Prairie for $25 per person, reservations required. Contact Ted Leahey at 765-964-5370.

As Union City has become a community of volunteers, together you can make a difference. What have you done for your community this week?

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By Linda DeHaven

Linda DeHaven is the new author of the weekly column Union City News for The Daily Advocate. She may be reached at [email protected] Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.