The Crossing, Redeeming Struggling Students
Nov23

The Crossing, Redeeming Struggling Students

written for Living Fort Wayne by Hillary Knipstein of The Crossing For some struggling local high school students, a traditional high school career is not a viable option.  These students struggle with behavioral issues and school discipline, addiction, poor attendance, teen pregnancy, challenging family situations, mental illness, bullying, or other challenges.  Enter, The Crossing. The Crossing is a nonprofit organization operating alternative high schools throughout Indiana.  Our mission is to empower struggling students to become contributing members of their communities through academics, job-training, and faith-based character education. Fulfilling this mission requires, first and foremost, staff and volunteers who feel called to form consistent and positive relationships with struggling students.  These authentic relationships are essential to providing meaningful and effective encouragement and discipline to our students.  We create an inclusive family environment where students feel a genuine sense of belonging, meet them where they are, speak openly with them about Christ, empower them to set goals and make consistent daily choices that align with those goals, and hold them accountable for their behavior.  Every day, our students meet for a thirty-minute “family time,” which involves a group discussion or devotion aimed at developing character and helping our students bond as a group. Although they are extremely diverse, our students laugh, cry, and pray together daily. Our students work at their own pace through the courses required to obtain an accredited high school diploma, with additional academic support as required.  Beyond a high school diploma, we strive to prepare our students for post-secondary employment, education or entrepreneurship through our unique job training program, which allows them to gain valuable skills and experience by participating in our student-run microbusinesses, participating as part of a work team, or completing an internship. Supporting these struggling students requires contribution from both individuals and businesses in the Fort Wayne community. Volunteer opportunities at the Crossing can coincide with any skill set and availability. You can volunteer as either a life mentor or a spiritual mentor for one of our students, help to maintain one of our campuses, or serve on our Community Action Team or one of its committees. We welcome Fort Wayne area businesses to participate in our JTP by hosting an intern or a work team.  To learn more about the Crossing’s mission, learn about volunteer opportunities, and to hear our students’ stories, please attend our annual banquet on December 3, 2015 at the Imperial Room in Fort Wayne Indiana (tickets available here), or visit our...

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