Called to Serve
In Jesus, we have the perfect example of servant leadership. He paved the way for His disciples not by exercising authority over them, but by serving them. Jesus also gave them the command to serve others.
There are two primary ways that we emphasize this call to service at CCA: through our community service requirement and our Leadership Academy class. We see these aspects of our program as opportunities to fulfill the second half of our mission: "equipping future leaders to impact their communities for Christ."
Equipping Future Leaders
One of our desires for CCA students is that they would become leaders within their communities. Students learn about servant leadership through our weekly Leadership Academy class. The volunteers who lead this class have diverse backgrounds and experiences to share with students.
Rodney loves "how Ms. Suzy comes in and talks to us about things we probably wouldn't think of on our own." Through Leadership Academy, he has gained a greater understanding of procrastination and how it impacts him at school and at home.
Ashley likes that the Leadership Academy speakers want to help CCA students become leaders. "They don't have to be here," she said. "But they choose to teach us what it really means to be a leader." Ashley went on to say, "I've learned about integrity, being proactive, and how to have a good interview." Jedarrion wants to be a businessman when he grows up, and he is motivated and encouraged by having Kevin teach about leadership from the prospective of a successful Christian businessman.
When asked for an example of a leader, Josh said, "I think everyone is a leader, you just have to know what to do to become a good one."
Impacting Communities for Christ
While the cost of educating each CCA student is upwards of $20,000, there is no cost to the students. They are, however, asked to "pay it foward" by doing community service. As our prinicpal Ms. Kristi states, this gives them "some skin in the game," as a way to personally invest in their education. It also gives them an opportunity to invest in their communities.
Each quarter, CCA students are required to complete 25 hours of community service. Throughout the school year, students complete at least 100 service hours. Students have the opportunity to serve with various organizations and ministries in South Dallas and across the DFW metroplex. These activities range from tutoring elementary students after school, serving meals at the Cornerstone kitchen, or cutting a neighbor's yard.
We also do school-wide community service projects. We recently completed our first school project for the year - dropping off meals for Meals on Wheels. After Meals on Wheels, Jedarrion said with a smile, "Everytime I gave someone their meal, they just seemed so happy. It was good to put smiles on their faces." He went on to say, "I like that I'm able to do something productive because I haven't always done productive things."
For Rodney, community service has been a way to bond with his classmates. "When we did Meals on Wheels, I was in a group with people that I don't really talk to at school. I enjoyed connecting with my classmates when we served together. We rode in the car together, we helped each other with directions, and we got to pass out meals together."
Ashley enjoys community service because she likes to help people. She has completed most of her community service at her mother's job. Ashley said, "My mom works at a nursing home with older people who need a lot of help. I'm able to help them with things that they can't do on their own." Her favorite way to serve is by painting the ladies' nails. She also likes that she gets to see her mom serve and help others too.
We know that true leadership means serving those among you, and as CCA students learn about leadership and service, our desire is that they would look to Christ.