It was in 2004 when I was homeschooling my three children that my husband said it was a good time to get our kids to invest in the lives of others. My children were 12, 9, and 6 at the time. The four of us would go meet with students after they got out of school in an inner-city neighborhood, and we did after-care activities with them. The students were kindergarten to 8th grades. My children were really their peers, but my older one taught the younger ones and my other two were just there to have fun. My kids were reluctant at first. One even stomped her foot and said she wasn’t going. This is the same child who about two weeks later announced, “this is what I’m going to do when I grow up.” I asked, “what?” She said, “work with kids just like this.” And she did. She graduated with a degree in early childhood development and then got a job teaching at a charter school for poor families. It’s her calling in life, and my others have always had a heart for the inner-city. Those were some of the sweetest times I remember as a parent. Many of those kids spent weekends with us; one even lived with us for many years. I don’t regret pouring ourselves into the lives of others.
Now fast forward to 2018. I still love working with at-risk youth. Currently my oldest child and I mentor middle school girls in a public school in Little Rock, AR. We meet one-on-one with our girls once a week. (I babysit my granddaughter while my daughter mentors her girl). It’s through a program that empowers youth and especially young women called Lessons for Life. Alexis Ware is the director of the ministry. She’s an incredibly powerful woman who has spent all of her life encouraging young people to make good choices. It is a 501(c)3, and she’s a Christian. But inside the walls of the public schools, she has no Christian agenda except to encourage these girls. She’s an incredible role model. She tells the girls, “You choose your way, but you can not choose your consequences.” Profound. I wish I knew that at 14, 24, and 34! She could have saved me from a million dumb decisions I made in my younger years! (For the record, at 34, I was married with two children and my foolish years were behind me. But you get the point.)
To see what Alexis is doing, check out her website. You’ll see why we love her so much. She’s known as “Alexis from Texas,” but she’s ours in Arkansas now!