photo-marcGrowing up, it was just me and my mom. I didn’t have a father figure in my life, and I was definitely going in the wrong direction. Most days, I would skip class and find ways to get into trouble. I was hanging out with the wrong crowd, and doing a lot of things I shouldn’t have been.

Things changed for me when I met Jerry with Urban Youth Ministries. He was really the first person besides my mom who showed an interest in my life. He started spending time with me and we created a real bond. I loved the fact that he didn’t have to be with me, he wanted to. He actually cared.

Over the next few years, he became a father figure to me. One day on a van ride home I felt my life was over. I shared this with Jerry and after I told him how I felt he shared the gospel with me and I received Christ as my Lord and Savior, At that moment my life changed. I started going to class, and stopped hanging out with kids who were just trying to get me into trouble. I started to get involved in UYM, and became a disciple of Christ. Meeting Jesus was a life-changer.

I don’t know what would have happened to me without the support of Jerry and Urban Youth Ministries. Even though it’s been over 15 years, Jerry and UYM are still a part of my life and I’m overjoyed that I can be involved myself. These days, I get to do for other kids what Jerry did for me, serving as a mentor and father figure for young people who don’t have that. I know that we touch and change lives because I see it every day.