The first day walking into Moulton I knew that I was different than most of the kids who went there. Not that I thought that I was less than them, or that they were less than me but that I had different taste. I knew this as a fifth grader walking into a school, at ten years old I could feel that I wasn’t going to fit in. So in that moment I made a choice that I regret to a certain extent. I changed myself to fit in. I acted like I liked a certain type of music, a certain movie, a certain clothing style. The list could go on for a while. By the time fifth grade had ended I felt like I had lost myself but the fact that I fit in with some of the people at school some how made up for it. When sixth grade started I still had the same friends and I was still putting on the same act, but about two months into school there were bright pink sheets of paper taped up in random spots in the hallway. I was curious and snuck over to one and read it. It said something about a club that met on Mondays from 3-5 in the church that was right across the street, I decided that it would be something to do. But the thing was I had always been shy and the very first meeting I was late because I had to walk my siblings home before going. When I finally got to Trinity I walked into random rooms before finding the right one, which then all of the heads turned towards me and I could feel my face heat up.
Now being seventeen, six years later, I have done so many things. I can’t believe that I blushed because I simply walked into a room of maybe fifteen people, a few of which I already knew. But between now and then I have stood in front of 300+ people and recited a poem that was something I had wrote myself, a part of myself. I have stood in front of middle schoolers and talked about sex, majority of adults can’t even do that. But looking back at that girl who was standing in that doorway with a red face and comparing her to me is weird. I am on a different track now, sure both girls wanted to go to college, each of those girls were told that she was poetic, that she was smart, she was going to do great things. But the difference between me and her is that I speak up now, not only in my words but also my actions. I’m actually doing what I want to do. Not what I think other people are wanting me to do. CFUM is one of the most supporting groups for both Whyld Girls and Backyard Boys, not only do we get participants from them but we get volunteers, funding, and opportunities. Also if you talking to any of the Backyard Boys or Whyld Girls nine times out of ten they will have been in one of CFUM many programs. They are an important part of this community, I can tell you that not just focusing on myself but on the many girls and boys I have seen in the various programs that are started, run, and supported by CFUM. I have been in this neighborhood for over seven years, these kids that are given a chance in this program can completely change their behavior. There have been kids who have had behavioral problems who have gone through Whyld Girls and decreased the amount of times they got in trouble at school by over half in just one year. There are kids who have jumped reading levels because of the Breakfast and Haven Club. The examples could go on forever it seems, you guys want a turn around story and I will give you one.
There was a community, it seemed lifeless and bland to those who didn’t know it. The youth which lived there seemed to be troublesome and not worth the effort people were asking the community to put forth. Families were struggling to support themselves, they couldn’t work more because there was no one willing to watch their kids. So a program started to try to help the community, by doing simple things. They handed out vegetables to the families who needed them. They started a program that let child be dropped off at 6am so parents didn’t have to worry about their kids getting to school on time and them to work. The ideas started to pour out, one after another like a beautiful but gradual work of art. No one was noticing but this program changed from being something that helped the community to the community helping itself. The community started to believe in itself, in every part of it. They didn’t care what others thought of them because they finally understood the amazing things that they were capable of. This is one of the most unique stories, it shows the planting of belief, faith, and capability. Whyld Girls and Backyard Boy are two of the many programs CFUM has helped create, and I can’t wait to see what else comes from them.