Our gender-specific student groups absolutely stunned the 150 attendees of our annual Meet the Leaders night. It’s always an exciting event aimed at showcasing for the friends of CFUM, our staff, parents and community folks all the important projects each of these programs worked on throughout the year.
Held on April 25th at Grand View University’s Student Center and Viking Theatre, the showcase event went above and beyond what anyone expected. But that’s a testament to our kids, to our program leaders and to the work that CFUM can do in the lives of our youth. Co-host of Start 102.5’s morning show and member of our Backyard Boys Advisory Group helped emcee the night with rising star, DJ Burrage.
Girlz with Hashtags
It seems we live in a social world filled with hashtags, but our young ladies zeroed in on some of the most important hashtags affecting their lives and the current events of the world around them. They delivered the research behind them, the prevalence of the issues in our society but also the ways to be a part of the solution to movements like #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo, #HumanTrafficking, #SuicideAwareness, #GunControl, and #LGBTQ+.
Boyz with Ambition
When the Backyard Boyz shared their battle cry proclaiming, “Who are we? Backyard Boyz. What are we? Gentlemen. I am a master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul,” it was a powerful moment. But each young man delivered a personal description of what ambition meant to them, what it meant for their future and their dreams and it made it very personal.
Future Looks Like a Choice
We’re very fortunate at CFUM to engage with students at very pivotal stages of their young adult lives. This is that point where simple decisions can lead to big change…good or bad. But the young adults in our Future, the Alternative F Word program are leading their futures in positive ways. They are influencers among their age group and their message about drugs and addiction were both raw and profound. They presented a video PSA they skillfully created with DEFT Films during our event portraying the effects of alcohol and underage drinking. Then, they delivered statistics about the problem and the alternative choices young adults can make to avoid the slippery slope of addiction.
Behind the Camera
Mentoring can be life-changing for our youth. To walk alongside our students and offer a glimpse of how their ideas, dreams, and ambitions can be cultivated into achievements and careers is a priceless experience. That’s why when a handful of students wanted to learn photography with our programming volunteer, Shari Miller (Miller Photography), CFUM was all too happy to orchestrate the sessions. But word spread about how cool the workshops on photography were and it grew as new students asked to attend. Well, what a display of those photo projects at this event! Attendees were able to purchase products to help support CFUM and our gender-specific programming.
The overwhelming thought echoing through my mind as I witnessed others applauding, supporting and congratulating our youth and hearing the responses of impressed attendees that night was, “it is a good night to be CFUM!”
As we embark on even more good reasons to be CFUM this month, I invite you to come into our building, join our volunteer groups and help mentor these amazing young people! Be a part of the often quiet work we do here that will most certainly make reverberating noise for the futures of our youth and their families.