Working with the youth at Mission Waco helps me understand poverty from a kid’s point of view. Middle-class or upper-class people may look down on or feel bad for a child that comes from a low-income household, thinking that because they don’t have money, they must not be very happy, have a good community, or have any fun. However, that is a complete lie. These kids come grinning every time I greet them. They have community surrounding them at Mission Waco who knows their story and their struggles and is there to encourage and celebrate their accomplishments.
Most of these kids have been together throughout elementary school and middle school. Most of the leaders and volunteers have watched these kids grow up and have been a consistent mentor for them throughout their lives. This community knows how to make each other laugh, get on each other’s nerves, and when to help. They also have so much fun! Mission Waco has provided more opportunities for fun than these kids could have ever imagined! As part of the youth program, they get to go to camp, go kayaking, learn different instruments, experience STEM programs, take cooking and art classes.
The youth program is just a glimpse of how Mission Waco is impacting this city, empowering the youth in Waco to become hard workers, good friends, and responsible adults. It’s been an honor to get to provide new experiences, teach new skills, and have so much fun!