Graduates share stories of hope, transformed lives
In early December, Hope Inspired Ministries had its biggest graduation to date, with 11 students graduating and many in the audience. Those 11 graduates shared with the audience about how their lives had been changed during the previous 13 weeks, Michael Coleman, executive director of HIM writes in their latest newsletter. The audience was moved by their stories, and the excitement was increased by the fact that most of the students have already been hired as a result of their performance during their internships.
Hope Inspired Ministries seeks to serve the chronically unemployed by preparing them to obtain and maintain employment, and aims to do so in a manner that develops individual worth, encourages personal responsibility, and promotes the value and honor of work. Each student will be guided in the achievement of their chosen career through specialized classroom and on-the-job training. The ministry’s intent is to introduce a way of life that promotes the development of the emotional, physical, and spiritual maturity in each student.
As in the past, HIM has shared students’ graduation speeches to allow those unable to attend the graduation to share in the successes of their students.
“I believe that the speeches will both move and encourage you and will serve as proof that some of the most broken in our society can be reached in the name of our Lord Jesus,” Michael writes.
We will gladly share several of these student’s stories here on the Missions blog, as well. Continue reading to learn more about Miss Friencherria Burch, and come back later this week for more inspiring stories from Hope Inspired Ministries graduates.
“Hello everyone, my name is Friencherria Burch. Before coming to Hope Inspired Ministries, I had no direction. I had dropped out of school at 16 and sat at home doing nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a lazy person, but my self-esteem would not allow it. At 19, the time I was ready to do something, I found out I was pregnant with my son. After I had my son, I felt I had to be with him every minute. I wanted to guide him in the right direction but in reality, although I was helping him, I was going in the wrong direction for our family.
One day my sister came up to me with a Hope Inspired Ministries pamphlet and told me all about meeting Michael. Just 15 minutes later my Mom brought me the same pamphlet. At that moment I thought “This must be a sign.” I have a 5 month old son who is counting on me to make a better life and I felt this might be the way to do that for us.
I called Hope Inspired Ministries to schedule an interview and that day my blessing came true because it was the last day for interviews. Another blessing came when out of all the interviews they had I was chosen to become a student here. I came to Hope Inspired Ministries and did what I had to do to make a better life for me and my son. So here I am 13 weeks later!!!
I am approaching my wedding date in January. I will continue to volunteer at the YMCA where I had my internship, to continue to learn good work habits and stay on a good path. I am still working towards my GED, and am continuing to apply for jobs. In the future I want to go back to school and study psychology. Since being in the classes at Hope Inspired Ministries I have also moved closer to God and as every day goes by I believe that I will get even stronger.
For that I want to thank the entire staff of Hope Inspired Ministries: Michael Coleman, Leanne Armstrong, Barbara Anderson, my teacher Ashton Herrod. I would also like to thank my mentor, Anna McKee for being there for me and being an ear when something was bothering me.
Above all I would like to thank God for my healthy son, Latayvian Pettiway and my fiancé Larry Pettiway. I am thankful to stand in front of you this evening. I am grateful I have had this opportunity.