September 20, 2012
by Susan Wadel
Human Resource Coordinator, Mennonite Central Committee

Jasmine Harris mentors girls through MCC service term

Jasmine Harris, a sophomore business major at Eastern Mennonite University, returned to her home congregation of Calvary Community Church (Hampton, Va.) this summer through Mennonite Central Committee’s Summer Service Worker program.

Under the guidance of Denise Gibson, she helped with the overall summer program, working specifically with “God’s Rubies,” a club of girls in grades 4-6. Denise came up with the acronym for the group name: God’s Righteous, Unique, Blessed, Influential and Elegant Sisters — God’s Rubies indeed! One of the goals of God’s Rubies is for girls to learn about the beauty of being a child of God.

Jasmine created a curriculum that included faith and life lessons. She helped the girls memorize eight statements of faith, such as “I am a child of God,” and led them in developing life skills. One such skill was etiquette, including proper table settings for a meal. Drawing from her experience working in the dining room at Eastern Mennonite University, Jasmine’s concluding activity for the summer was an elegant lunch where God’s Rubies practiced the many skills they learned.

The girls responded warmly to Jasmine by opening up and holding great conversations about their lives with her. Although her specific assignment at Calvary Community Church has concluded, Jasmine isn’t finished using her gifts to empower girls to develop in faith and life. This fall she hopes to become a mentor through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, an outreach of the United Way in Harrisonburg, Va.

“We are convinced that you don’t have to go halfway around the world to make
a difference. The need is right here and right now. We believe you have the
gifts, talents and passions to change your world, to change your community.”

– Summer Service Worker program webpage

Excerpts taken from a blog post at summerserviceworkers2012.wordpress.com

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