Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Jonathan’s* heart sank when the college admissions clerk told him he needed a parent’s signature for his financial aid paperwork. He flashed back to the police hauling his mother to jail.

“She’s in jail,” he said quietly.

“What about your father?” the clerk asked.

After hesitating, Jonathan answered, “He’s in prison.”
This is one young man’s story, among many at Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Fla., where some students face several threats to their future. The good news is that there is hope, thanks to the generous gifts to United Methodism’s Black College Fund. Recognizing the importance of historically Black colleges and universities, 20 annual conferences remitted at 100 percent to the fund in 2008.

“The Black College Fund is very important to our institution because it provides scholarship funds for many first-generation students who come from very troubled backgrounds,” said Bethune-Cookman University President Dr. Trudie Kibbe Reed.

Troubled backgrounds need not translate into troubled futures. Intervention makes all the difference in the world.

“Some of these kids are homeless. That’s how important [intervention] is. It’s the difference between them having opportunity or not, and without that money we couldn’t possibly make ends meet,” Reed added.

The university’s mission is to serve, in the Christian tradition, the diverse educational, social and cultural needs of its students and to develop in them the desire and capacity for continuous intellectual and professional growth, leadership and service to others.

When United Methodists give to the Black College Fund apportionment, they ensure that Bethune-Cookman University and other historically Black colleges and universities can live up to their mission. Thank you!

Please encourge your congregation to give 100% to the Black College Fund apportionment. You can help other youth like Jonathan find hope out of a troubled childhood.

*A pseudonym

--Dawn Gibson
Lladale Carey
Web Coordinator
United Methodsit Communications

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