Inside TreeHouse - July 2016

Created with a Purpose

Friday, July 1, 2016

 

When I started as an Outreach Associate at the St. Louis Park TreeHouse two and a half years ago, I think I doubted whether I was up for the challenge. It’s a lot of responsibility being one of the only adult women that is a positive presence in a teen girl’s life. People who go into this kind of ministry are often full of energy and the life of the party—whereas I’m an introvert and I’m laid back. But on my last night at St. Louis Park, after being promoted to a new role in the TreeHouse offices, the teens showed me how wrong I had been.

Throughout my two and a half years, I had always told each girl I mentored that there’s something in them the world needs to see. I told them God decided to create them as they are—and there’s a purpose for their lives. I wanted them to know that they’re great.

As a send-off on my last night, more than 45 of the teens helped throw me a party. They spoke such kind words about the impact I’d had on their lives. It made me cry. One of the girls I’d mentored said my presence at TreeHouse had given her the courage and hope to be able to do well and push through challenges as an individual. She’s 19 and had trouble getting through high school at first—but now she knows that she’s worth enough to do that, and she just graduated in June. That meant a lot.

But that night, I also realized how knowing the teens at St. Louis Park had taught me that being myself was ok. I realized that night just how well the teens actually knew me, and they showed me that my personality has a purpose and an impact, too—the very thing I was always trying to teach them.

LEANDRA WILLIAMS, Director of TH Next