Urban Family Council Update

Member Group : Urban Family Council

eNews January 2009
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In This Issue
Mark Your Calendars

Staff Highlight

From the President

Donor of the Month

Partner with UFC

Urban Family Council exists to build healthy families by providing education about, and advocating for, life, marriage and family.

Annual Spring Fundraising Gala
& Silent Auction
MARCH 26, 2009
Presidential Caterers, East Norriton, PA
Guest Speaker: Paul Tripp
More Details

Unable to attend? Your donation in any amount would be greatly appreciated!

UFC Staff Highlight
Preconceived Notions
by Whitney Monn, Educator

My first day interning at UFC was filled with apprehension and doubt. Standing in front of my first class, I felt utterly overwhelmed. I placed myself intentionally in the most terrifying position I could imagine, teaching a group of 10th grade girls. Not only was I teaching with teenagers, an age group I vowed to never work with, but I was teaching a group of students I could not relate to. Between sorting out the lesson and remaining calm, I couldn’t help but question my right to be teaching this group of girls.

For the first 18 years of my life, I lived in a small, rural town. I had never experienced poverty, violence, or ethnic diversity. I had never tried drugs, smoking, drinking, or even had sex. While growing up, my greatest fear was encountering a wild animal that roamed the farmer’s fields and forests surrounding my house. How could I help these young ladies, if I had no idea what types of threats, challenges, and dangers they were living through? Being reserved and quiet, I felt powerless against this rowdy group of girls.

Looking back from where I am now, a year later, I realize that I was gravely misguided by preconceived notions. In ignorance, I thought my race and background would handicap my ability to be an educator at UFC. However, being authentically me in the classroom has been more valuable than being relatable. I feel now that my passion and love for students had been power enough to overcome these types of differences. In love, I am inclined to most often listen to a student’s personal story instead of clamoring for a personal experience that shows students I can relate. Everyone has a personal story, and I seek to honor each person’s uniqueness through listening. As listening is more difficult than speaking for most individuals, the reserved nature I once considered a hindrance has become my greatest asset.

Throughout the past year, I have become frustrated at other people’s preconceived notions, some which I once shared. Questions I usually get when I share my role at UFC include: How do you work with those children? Why do you even bother? Those children are unreachable; why do you expect them to change? Some days I can get overwhelmed by students’ behavior, but when I changed my perspective, their disruptive behavior became less frustrating. Interacting on a personal basis with students helped me to understand the sources of their attitudes or behaviors; if a student acts out, it is most often due to a problem they are unable to cope with.

I realize now, each student UFC serves has the ability to succeed, and there are no "worthless" or "bad" students, there are just students with greater needs than others. When children are placed on the right avenue, given the right resources, and provided the right attention, they are empowered to succeed. The greatest gift I have been given throughout my time at UFC has been the ability to realize that my preconceived notions, about myself and students, were wrong.
From the President
A Matter of the Heart
by Christopher A. Pender, Sr., MHS

As 2008 ended I began to reflect on my time here at UFC. I remember when I first walked into the cramped, aged office space on Ryers Avenue. The organization’s passion for life, marriage and family was something I had never experienced before. However, I always felt like our message was not reaching its intended audience. Our staff at that time was not too diverse, and the delivery of our services was not designed to reach inner-city youth.

Much has changed over the past six years. We have moved to 4950 Parkside Avenue, we have a much more diverse staff, and God has done much for UFC as He has allowed us to continue to flourish during difficult economic times. We still continue to serve Philadelphia schools despite not being funded by the School District of Philadelphia.

The one thing that has not changed is the mission of UFC. We are still on a mission to Build Healthy Families through leadership, character and abstinence education that promotes life, marriage and family. Yet I find myself constantly defending the staff and myself about change. Yes, we have changed our methods to a system that has allowed us to see more than 22,000 young people over the past three years. We have changed our method that currently has UFC operating 6,000 square feet inside Olney HS, five days a week, all year long, seeing an average of 125 students per day. We are no longer just a pro-life organization. We have become so much more, and now we meet the needs of so many individuals young and old. We still advocate for life, marriage and family. We also understand that pro-life means that every person we come into contact with deserves the highest quality of life. Every young person murdered, incarcerated, and left without an education is equally important as those yet to be born. We have never been more sold out for the cause to Build Healthy Families by tackling the social pathologies that our youth and families face today in the unique ways that we have found to be very successful.

I don’t know what the future holds for me or the organization, but I feel the gentle tug of our Lord and Savior calling me to continue our cause to meet the needs of the many, and not to settle for satisfying the needs of a few who object to change.
Donor of the Month – Calvary Assembly of God, Wyncote, PA
Mission Statement: "Calvary Assembly of God exists to make a difference in our community and in the lives of people by God’s transforming power and love."

Calvary Assembly of God in Wyncote, PA has been a staunch supporter of UFC for many years and in many ways. They have gone beyond their monthly donations to provide us with opportunities to expand our reach to Build Healthy Families.

Pastor John Holt, the Senior Pastor at Calvary Assembly, welcomes UFC to make staff visits to Sunday services and missions fairs as well as run programs for youth at the church. In the summer of 2008, Calvary Assembly’s Youth Pastor, Devin Blankenbiller, who also serves on UFC’s Board of Directors, spearheaded the successful premiere of the Christian film, Fireproof, in the promotion of healthy marriage and relationships.

Calvary Assembly also opened the doors last Spring for UFC to run a series of workshops for small groups in Pennypacker Elementary School, a school which the church had adopted as a mission. Not only is Calvary Assembly of God the home to two of our staff members, Chris Pender, President, and Dana McCrewell, Office Manager, but the entire congregation makes anyone feel at home and welcome when visiting.

On March 8, 2009, the UFC staff will attend the Sunday services to update our donors on the work we are doing and to offer workshops to the youth afterwards. We would love for you to come visit with us to support Building Healthy Families! All are welcome. For more information please visit our website at www.urbanfamilycouncil.org.

Your Support Helps Offer Hope to Philadelphia Families
Ask your payroll manager to schedule a monthly deduction designating
UFC’s UW Donor Choice No. 8393.

Just click the link at www.urbanfamilycouncil.org It’s that easy!

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