Here’s a job not for the faint of heart: Anything to do with Middle School.
Thank goodness for Campus Life at Mills Middle School, coordinators like Jenny Arnez and the wonderful volunteers who are there for our kids.
Campus Life is an arm of Youth for Christ. Campus Life combines healthy relationships with creative programs to help young people make good choices, establish a solid foundation for life and positively impact their schools.
When we say creative, we may mean the Bacon Olympics: as in -- #go for the bacon and #the Olympics for the rest of us.
Maybe it is Paint Wars and BBQ. Or, Turkey Bowling, or Backyard Campfire… you get the picture. Lots of fun, plenty of food. And a small army of caring adults.
Jenny Arnez has headed up Campus Life at Mills since 2013, and while she is the first to say this is a team effort involving a lot of great volunteers, Jenny is always there to make the magic happen.
Campus Life at Mills meets every Monday for a meal and some fun. Each meet-up is also a chance to talk about what matters to middle schoolers: friendships, relationships, character traits, emotions. Then it gets tied back to Biblical concepts that can help.
On Friday mornings, kids can just come and hang out before school, and at Friday lunch there are games to be played, candy to be won, along with cleaned up versions of popular music these confounding middles love.
Jenny’s first interaction with Campus Life dates back to the 1980s at Cordova High when she was a student. “It made a difference for me,” she recalled.
After getting a college degree and raising a family with husband Mark – now a Mills Middle School teacher – Jenny joined other volunteers in giving support to kids who are up against some daunting odds.
Most of the kids at Campus Life are from single parent homes. There may be parent addiction issues. Bullying problems. Homelessness. Then there is always the challenge of just being in middle school.
Jenny and company encourage volunteering in the community, making it possible for kids to volunteer at the Fourth of July, Christmas Tree Lighting, the Food Locker, and the list goes on.
As usual, one good thing is leading to another. Campus Life is now revving up at Mitchell Middle School, and plans are in motion to expand to Cordova High School as well.
Campus Life is a Christian ministry and another sparkling example of how the faith community walks the talk to help live the principles taught at church each Sunday.
Congratulations Jenny Arnez and Mills Campus Life for Outstanding Service by a Faith Organization.