Two and a half years ago, Karen decided to enroll in Solidarity's IMPACT Leadership Development program. At the time, Karen was a shy thirteen-year-old about to enter her eighth-grade year at Ladera Vista Jr. High in Fullerton.
Do you remember what Jr. High was like when you were a teen? Do you remember how challenging it could be and the social pressures that often surfaced? It was no different for Karen. She was entering this typically confusing time of her life and still on a journey of discovering who God created her to be.
IMPACT paired Karen up with her mentor, Ally. At first, both were unsure of how the relationship would work out. Would it be awkward? Did they have any common interests? Would they meet but have nothing to talk about? Those fears were quickly put to rest as Ally recognized that both she and Karen were on a similar journey of "stepping into the identity [the] Father has set before [them]"
Over the past five semesters of nine-week IMPACT sessions, Karen and Ally's relationship grew from randomly paired strangers to a trusted mentoring relationship.
"IMPACT has been significant to me because I have someone that supports and believes in me," Karen continues, "it allows me to become a better leader without being alone in the process."
For Karen, that's all that she needed to begin to blossom. She wanted someone outside of her supportive family, to believe in her and journey with her. Ally was the perfect individual to join Karen on her journey. Ally reflected on Karen's path, "I have loved watching my mentee grow in responsibility, maturity, and character. It has been such a gift to walk alongside her in the last few years."
IMPACT is more than a leadership development and mentoring program, it is a context for relationship that has helped strengthen both Karen and Ally. It has been through IMPACT that God has helped both young women understand who God created them to be as individuals.
Want to strengthen urban communities in the area of Leadership and more? It's through your donations to the Challenge Accepted year-end campaign, that you will be investing in next generation leaders like Karen and her mentor, Ally.
Click below to make your year-end, tax-deductible donation to the Challenge Accepted campaign.