Our partnership with Kidwork’s Avanti program continues to be transformative in the lives of Santa Ana’s youth. We are so blessed to partner with KidWorks, a Santa Ana-based non-profit that provides underserved children and teens growth in the areas of academics, faith, and the arts. Our congregation has made KidWorks part of our annual “Serve Day,” participated as volunteers in their after-school programs, prepared care packages for KidWorks college/university students, and supported their Avanti Music program.
Kyle Team, a church elder, serves on the KidWorks board of directors. She also lends a hand tutoring students enrolled in the organization’s after-school programs. “KidWorks is truly an answer to prayer that I could share my gifts after my own children left for college,” Kyle says. “It renews my faith weekly when I see how much these young students know about the Bible and how they can talk with God when they need help. It’s also refreshing to open our KidWorks board meetings in prayer; that’s something you don’t often see in the corporate or non-profit world.”We can’t think of better way to celebrate this partnership than to tell you about one of KidWorks’ very special students who is excelling because of it! Her name is Yosely Ocampo, a high school sophomore. Yosely has counted on our church and KidWorks since she was in elementary school. In addition to her studies, she plays the cello in the school orchestra and is the goalie on the school’s junior varsity lacrosse team. Yosely attributes her deep—and growing—Christian faith to the seeds planted at KidWorks’ summer camps, where Bible studies are always part of the experience. “I pray each day and feel the increasing presence of Jesus in my life,” she says. “My faith continues to mature.”
Yosely also has a deep love of music. She was part of our Love in Music offering for younger students. She then joined Avanti Music, a KidWorks program founded in 2012 by our very own Joe Cristina, a professional musician with 38 years of experience in composition and arranging. Our church helps provide funding for KidWorks’ after-school programs and Avanti Music. “Yosely really likes worship music and at her urging, we’ve incorporated contemporary Christian material into the ensemble,” Joe says. “She’s performed twice at St. Andrew’s, once in the chapel for the Avanti fifth anniversary concert last October and at the Wednesday night Music and Meals event to kick off Advent.”
We look forward to many more years working alongside KidWorks to help bless the children, youth, and families they serve. Yosely is a shining example of God’s love as he guides us to serve even more students just like her.
For more information on St. Andrew’s involvement with KidWorks/Avanti, visit www.sapres.org/extendingthefamily.