With over 20 years in the nonprofit sector, I have worked with children from high income areas, handicap, and special needs, foster children and children living in poverty. I have found that their circumstances define them unless someone steps in to teach them their identity in Christ. That is the only healer that can set them free from the bondage of poverty, neglect, abuse, and trauma. No matter if these children come from high income families with emotionally neglect or from poverty where they have nothing, it all comes back to knowing you are valued and have purpose. If they continue letting their circumstances identify them, then the generation cycles and patterns will continue. We desire to see them set free and step into an identity in Christ that will lead them to live a productive life and give back to community.

It all comes down to identity. We stand up for the kids and say no more generation curses and cycles!! We will see these kids set free from poverty, addiction, abuse, violence and teen pregnancy! But there is more…once these youth know their true identity, their desires will be to hear and seek their Heavenly Father. As Holy Spirit guides them, they will change lives all around them!!

The youth program has been serving ages 3-17 years for the last four years. At this time we are holding our youth meetings at Christ Church in West Monroe, in hopes of a “home” facility in the near future!

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10-11

Our goal is to empower youth to pursue their potential academically, relationally, and spiritually. The Youth “Home” exists to provide academic, vocational, and social-emotional guidance, a safe and welcoming community, and advocacy on behalf of our youth and their families. Our desired impact is to help youth make wise decisions about themselves, their core convictions, their relationships, their educational pursuits, and interactions with their communities. NELA Youth equips youth to begin a cycle of hopefulness by acknowledging and taking steps to overcome life’s challenges through engaging youth in programs that build knowledge of self, others, resources, and opportunities.

What makes NELA Youth different than other programs? We specialize in getting to know the entire family so we understand what these children are dealing with in their home lives. Spending time with individual families, we can better help them spiritually and understand financially what is needed for that particular child. Our goal is to be steady in their lives and pour into them the love of Christ, teaching them that they have purpose and are a child of God.