Then and Now: Class of 2019
Another year of graduation means another class of future leaders is being launched into college and/or the workforce! 85% of Mercy Street senior students are completing high school graduation on time. 94% of these students have been mentored for over 5 years, and 74% have been mentored for over 8 years!
Mercy Street hosted a Graduation Celebration to applaud our graduating mentees and offer a time for mentors and parents to share about their mentoring experience. Here are just a few testimonies of the many transformational relationships that have been fostered through your support of Mercy Street.
Grace & Morgan, 9 Years
Throughout her high school years, mentee Morgan has applied for Townview Magnet Center, gone through 4 years of a medically-focused graduation plan, worked part time, built her own computer, and is planning to attend the University of Texas at Arlington for computer engineering.
In mentor Grace’s words, “Morgan is incredibly driven, focused, and self-motivated. I pray that persistence and grit carries you forward. To her parents: you’ve been a blessing as I’ve become a mother. Your example of how you love your daughter and are present for her is a beautiful thing. It’s impacted my mothering.”
In addition, Morgan’s mother shares, “I’d like to thank Grace for being a mentor to my daughter and for being here for me through a lot of things. I want to thank her for being family.”
Keisha & Destiny, 6 Years
From Keisha, mentor, to her mentee: “Destiny is the epitome of excellence...Our journey has had immeasurable moments of pure joy, bundles of love, and tons of Mercy Street fun.
Destiny, when I met you, I remember how you were so shy yet very observant. I could totally relate to you in the sense that I too was the only girl in the family, but I had this inner drive in me that wouldn’t quit. Your brothers are truly thick as thieves, but I love them and your parents dearly for protecting you and guiding you through this complicated thing called life! I have always known deep down within you were truly a butterfly waiting to blossom and take flight. It’s not every day that you are fortunate to pour into a young person’s life and truly make a difference.”
Marlana (Destiny’s mother) has seen 4 of her children participate in Mercy Street programming, and she congratulates her youngest child on this graduation milestone. She says about Keisha and Destiny, “You two are like two peas in a pod!” About Mercy Street, she shares, “My experience with Mercy Street has been a place where my kids can be themselves.”
Lori & Raquel, 8 Years
Raquel, mentee, has been a part of Mercy Street since she was old enough to play peewee baseball in our sports league. After being matched with her mentor, Lori, in 4th grade, the duo began to conquer significant life happenings together, such as: Serving at a senior living home. Distributing gift bags to the homeless. Powerlifting and winning FFA competitions. Raquel testifying in court for a case involving a family member (a courageous act that still stirs up emotions for both of them). Lori has been a steadying force for Raquel and her mother. Likewise, Lori shares, “Going into this, the idea was for me to be a blessing to Raquel, but she has been the biggest blessing to me.”
Raquel’s mother, Sandra, explains that she raised her kids by herself and was grateful when Lori stepped in, because “at that time Raquel really needed the Holy Spirit and someone else besides me.” She thanks Mercy Street for rearing their relationship and says emotionally, “Having Lori is like having another part of me. Put us together, and we work as ‘mom.’” Mercy Street, in turn, is grateful for Sandra’s persistence in motherhood and for placing 2 of her children through Mercy Street programming.
Andy & Michael, 6 months
Andy and Michael have a unique relationship, as Michael is a relatively new member of Andy’s high school discipleship group (Street Team). Michael will be attending Texas A&M University at Galveston in the fall to study marine biology. He is eager to share about environmental conservation and the projects he will tackle!
Andy communicates, “Michael has brought the willingness and maturity to have conversations to our Street Team. Michael is willing to be honest about things, and the other boys follow his example. He wanted to seek out a group that was going to be talking about God, the Bible, and what was going on in his life.”
Deborah & Marqreshea, 8 Years
Marqreshea has been heavily involved at Mercy Street for many years, building lasting relationships with her mentor, her Street Team leaders, and with a number of Leadership Institute college interns.
Deborah, mentor, shares with Marqreshea, “You’ve been through really challenging experiences and have responded to that with pressing in harder. I have no doubt that you have great things ahead of you and will be successful in whatever you try to do.”
Marqreshea’s sister, Tra’Shannon, adds: “Marqreshea, you have grown into an original, brilliant young woman, and I’m just enjoying seeing you grow. You’re going to be one of the first to go to college and I just want to wish you luck, and I love you.”
Taylor & Yaire, 8 Years
You’re like family to me,” Taylor, mentor, declares. “This is just the beginning of a journey for us - you’re always going to be in my life.” Yaire nods and smiles, teary-eyed, while Taylor explains, “We have this really unique connection. Now that you’re making decisions for this next phase, we’re having really important conversations. And I’m gonna be there with you for all of it. You’re like my daughter or one of my really close friends, and I love you so much.”
In the words of Ramon, High School Mentor Coordinator: “Look around - I want you to see your community. These are the folks who would go to bat for you. Graduation is a big deal, and you have a full life ahead of you. Every man and woman in this room was made on purpose. Your task is to discover how God has built you, and follow Him. Sometimes it will be hard, but you’ve got your community with you.”