Christmas Eve Gatherings 1PM + 2:30PM + 4PM
Advent Devotional 2022

Westside Community Center

Featured Partnership Local Partners

Our Mission is to empower families and youth academically, socially and spiritually, inspiring them to take on leadership roles in their community. Our Vision...We will be a center that not only serves the community, but one that is served by the community. Those who live within the community that the center serves will teach the programs and services offered by the Westside Community Center.

Westside Community Center Website

The main way the ministry is meeting needs:

West Chester, PA is a beautiful town; but within it lie pockets of poverty often masked by the fancy town centers, parks and restaurants. The Westside is in its 10th year of serving over 100 disadvantaged, underserved youth in West Chester. Students served by The Westside are low-income, at-risk youth. The majority of students are minority youth and living in single parent homes. Additionally, many have experienced trauma (transient housing, homelessness, abuse, domestic violence, food insecurity), are English Language Learners, first and second-generation immigrants, and are struggling academically. Over 36% will be the first in their families to graduate high school and 68% will be the first in their families to go to college. As a result, our students lack the motivation and guidance needed to reach their potential. Rising costs of living in our community requires many of our students’ parents to work 2-3 jobs to provide for their family.

Consequently, many of our students are left home alone and unsupervised in the out-of-school time hours and many will not be fed until late in the evening (if at all). Research confirms that the hours of 3-6PM are, "the peak hours for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex" and that hours spent alone afterschool are, "lost opportunities to help students grow and develop the skills and competencies to make positive life decisions that can lead to their future success" (After School Alliance). The Westside seeks to prevent these outcomes by providing a safe and supportive environment during the critical out-of-school-time hours and providing a variety of academic supports, nutritional education, leadership development and recreational activities. The Westside is committed to serving the community in this manner because we know that there is a need for positive educational and recreational opportunities to improve the health and well-being of youth and families in West Chester. We want to see the needs of our students met so they stay in school, graduate, and set goals for post-secondary education/employment.  Despite being located in one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, 27% of West Chester residents live below the poverty line (double the national average of 13.1%). The majority of the youth served by The Westside live within walking distance of The Westside and The Skate Spot. Within 2 blocks of “The Spot” are 2 section 8 housing communities and 4 homeless shelters are within a 5-10 block radius of the park.  Our staff and volunteers at the Westside are committed to tackling these issues through our various programs and the relationships we have with youth and families in our community.

How is the ministry sharing the gospel and making disciples:

We present the gospel tangibly through the Bible to students at Girls' Nights, Guys' Nights, and Retreats.  Our staff and volunteers also invite students and their families to church, where they have gotten plugged in and even have begun to serve.  We provide our students who are ready with leadership opportunities to get involved in leading Girls' Nights and Guys' Nights.  A main goal we have is to see our students become volunteers in our organization.


Life changing story in the WCC ministry:

Jesus lives in a house with many of his extended family members. In the past, he has struggled with following the crowd and getting into trouble. This past Spring we have seen an enormous change in Jesus. He has been respectful, helpful, and kind to the staff, volunteers, and peers. Quincy, a staff member at Westside, has invested a lot of time in Jesus, and many other volunteers have worked with him to help him school. By the end of the year, his grades had gone up significantly, even in the subjects he struggles with. He is now a leader among his friends at the After School Program.

How you can help:

During the month of September we are conducting a sponsorship drive. In order to help with the ongoing costs of our youth programs we are trying to have 50 of our students sponsored by monthly donors. We would be honored if you would be willing to become a monthly sponsor in the range of $25-$50. This would provide our students with tutoring, dinners, mentoring, access to art and sport programming, as well as trips and retreats. Please click on the link below and fill out the appropriate information. Our staff will reach out to you and match you up with one of our students so that you can be praying for them on an ongoing basis. If you have any questions please contact our Executive Director, Ryan Enns at 484.682.4910 or email at .

SPONSORSHIP LINK

 

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