When a Seed is Planted

The summer season is reaching its peak and the proof is all around us. Who doesn’t look forward to dazzling flowers in brilliant colors, fresh picked berries for eating by the handful or a platter of steamy sweet corn?

But what makes this all possible? Flowers, fruit and vegetables don’t generally just happen. A seed is planted, soil is cultivated, and attention is given to ensure proper growing conditions. All of this happens with an eye towards the harvest – time and energy are invested because there is an expectation that something good will result.

Students at the Crossing are in various stages of the growing season. Responsibility, leadership and business skills are being cultivated and we believe what will result is hope – hope for better futures, better lives and better people.

The Crossing campus at Kokomo is planting literal and spiritual seeds. Read about their agricultural micro business here: The Crossing students grow micro-business in third year

The Power of Education

Nelson Mandela once said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

At the Crossing, we believe that changing one student’s world opens up possibilities that ripple out into the community.

Statistics show that an educated work force attracts business investment and decreases the dollars spent on social services. While those are nice side effects, the true impact of a high school education is the power it gives to those students who were at risk of never receiving a diploma. Their earning potential rises; their ability to contribute to their community increases and at the Crossing, the relationships that are developed between classmates and teachers last far beyond their time in the classroom.

CEO and founder Rob Staley recently appeared on “Economic Outlook”, a locally produced PBS broadcast, where he discussed the nuts and bolts of the Crossing.

Click the link here to watch: Economic Outlook

Crossing efforts in Plymouth highlighted at local banquet and newspaper

Everybody loves a good story, especially when it is well told. Whether we read about it, watch it on screen or hear somebody share in a live setting, there’s something powerful about the arc of a story. The main character starts out here, but by overcoming obstacles or standing firm in the face of opposition, they get to there; in the process, they are changed.

The most compelling stories from the Crossing come from our students. When they share about their before and after, they persuade us that change is possible and we can be a part of the bigger story.

Recently, students from the Marshall County campus told their stories at the annual banquet in Plymouth. The Pilot News published an article about the event. Check out the link below to learn more.

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A new year brings new schools

2015.05.27-newcampusesWe are excited to announce that the Crossing is growing! This fall we will open four new campuses in Lafayette, Hamilton County, Mooresville and Decatur Township. We are eager to serve these communities and reach out to students who are in need of an alternative to the traditional high school setting. God is blessing us with this special season and we look forward to the opportunities that are coming.

We believe this season of growth is God given, and that the harvest of changed lives will be plentiful! If you are interested in being part of the work, there is room for you – we are currently seeking staff and volunteers to join us. Click the links below for more information.

Volunteer Application
Employment Application

If you would like to enroll, click here to get started:

Enrollment Application 2015-2016

We get our hands dirty

At the Crossing we don’t just want to talk about change and transformation. We want to be a part of the effort that creates that physical transformation in our students and in our communities. We want our students to have the opportunity to take pride in their communities and give back through community service.

The South Bend campus got after it on Earth Day. The effort was so epic, Fox 28 decided to cover the event. Click any of the following Fox 28 images below to view the various news clips captured throughout the day.

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The efforts started at 9 in the morning just as snow and sleet began to roll into the area and continued throughout the day until roughly 3 pm.

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The efforts included planting trees, trimming trees and brush, picking up trash, and reclaiming wood that was the floor in the old Studebaker factory.

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The efforts from our South Bend campus was comprehensive and inspirational. A special thanks to our partners from the community which include but aren’t limited to the team from the South Bend/Mishawaka Leadership Academy (Adam ElBenni, Amy Stabeno, Angela Johnson, Sherry English, Jeermal Sylvester), Kevin Smith and Shawn Peterson of Union Station Technologies, and Willow Weatherall of SB 150 and Ignite Michiana. The day was an incredible feet of collaboration and team work and it is one that will hopefully be a first step toward restoration of the Renaissance District of South Bend and a beacon of hope to the entire community of South Bend.

What do we do at the Crossing?

What do we do at the Crossing?

Our mission statement says we empower struggling students to become contributing members of their communities through academics, job training, and faith based mentoring.

Ohhhhh, that.

…And how does “that” work, exactly?

We empower struggling students. Kids who have a hard time learning in a traditional classroom. Kids who have been bullied. Kids with health problems who struggle with attendance. Kids who don’t have the support at home to thrive, academically or otherwise.

We tell these students, you can do this; you’re smarter than you think you are, you’re safe here, you can succeed even with medical issues, you have a family and it’s us.

We offer them job training. We teach them skills, give them responsibility and the power to make decisions as part of their experience. We help them discover their natural abilities and provide them with a place to use them. We show them what’s possible.

Mostly we listen. And we love. And we peel away those labels they’ve been given.

Courtney Bowlds, Campus Administrator of the Fort Wayne Crossing, sat down recently with the online publication INFortWayne to explain what the mission statement looks like day to day.

You can check out the video and story here:

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You reap what you sow

You reap what you sow

30% of high school students in Indiana drop out every year.

What are the options for drop outs? Low skill (and low paying) jobs that offer little advancement and can’t provide for basic needs. A dependency on others in all manner of unhealthy ways. A greater likelihood of turning to crime. (Not all drop outs are criminals, but most criminals are drop outs –over 80% of those incarcerated never finished high school.)

You reap what you sow

What if they had an alternative? What if we sowed the seeds of responsibility both given and earned? What if we equipped students to organize, analyze and strategize for the future of a micro business? What if we integrated academic learning with hands on job training that gave them a new set of skills to take with them out into the “real” world of the adult workplace -what would we reap?

The Fort Wayne campus Job Training Program is sowing and reaping great things in the lives of students with the help of community business leaders. Check out this video that was shown at their recent spring banquet:

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When we as the community invest in these students, we reap a harvest of skilled, engaged citizens who have a hope and a future.

You reap what you sow

Crossing in the Times

There was an exciting article recently published in the Mooresville-Decatur Times that highlights the contract recently signed by the Mooresville school board to partner with the Crossing. We are very excited to be opening a school in the Mooresville district and look forward to seeing students’ lives impacted by this new partnership. Check out the files below to read the article that was published!

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Crossing visits the Rotary Club in Monticello

Friday, February 27th, a Crossing student stood before the Monticello Rotary club and told his story. We are so proud of Ethan for bravely sharing what he did in a room full of strangers. Read the wonderful article below from the Monticello Herald to hear more about the meeting and what Ethan shared!

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Special thanks to Lisa Tiernan of the Monticello Herald for writing the article!

CHA of Anderson highlights the Crossing

Students of our Anderson campus has been working alongside folks at the Community Hospital of Anderson. Recently the folks at CHA highlighted this relationship in an article posted to their intranet for all to see and learn more about their partnership with the Crossing. The article headline read as follows:

“The Crossing is a faith based alternative school located here in Anderson. The students come from all areas but have often struggled in traditional educational settings. The Crossing works to foster an environment where students feel they are part of a family.

Community Hospital Anderson has recently partnered with The Crossing, and their students have been working here at Community to gain job experience, while maintaining their academics at school.”

Thanks Community Hospital of Anderson for providing an incredible learning opportunity for our students!

ETC makes THE PAPER

We were recently blessed to have an article published on the front page of THE PAPER about our Elkhart Entrepreneurial Training Center. Special thanks to Lauren Zeugner for her words and efforts in highlighting our program. Please Click the image below to read more!

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Our Ligonier JTP Made the Front Page!

The students of our JTP programs are always looking for new ways to get their hands dirty and get out of the classroom. Recently, or Ligonier JTP students have found themselves partnering with local contractors to help with minor demo work in prepping homes for remodeling. Their efforts and ambition have caught the attention of the community. Check out the articles below to read more.

Jan. 29 Advance Leader – The Crossing
Jan. 31 New Sun-The Crossing

Special thanks to Octavia Yoder.

Jenny’s Girls

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Our mission at the Crossing can only reach its fullest potential when our volunteers accept the call to get involved. It doesn’t matter to what degree one gets involved, just that they do. We’ve seen individuals stop in once a month to help with paper work, while others stop in once a week to provide food for our students and to spend a little time with them.

Occasionally we are blessed by individuals that want to do more. Jenny Welch wanted to do something that would afford her the opportunity to reach multiple girls at at time. She started small, initially mentoring 2-3 girls during the morning session. Over time, more girls became interested in being a part of Jenny’s group of ladies. What began as an effort to mentor a couple girls turned into a group of 8-10 meeting every Tuesday. The group has expanded beyond the morning session causing a need to schedule the group to overlap with the lunch hour allowing girls from morning and afternoon sessions a chance to experience the life-changing discussions happening within this girls group.

Our students don’t have very many positive influences in their lives. Furthermore, they have even fewer people willing to fight for their lives. Jenny has chosen to fight for the lives of these young ladies by giving them a safe place to be real and to have honest girl-talk with someone who cares about them.

Jenny’s efforts recently aligned with a study her church, Waypoint Community Church, was going through. They produced a video highlighting Jenny’s efforts at the Crossing. Please click the image above to see this wonderful caption of what’s been going on with Jenny and her girls.

No matter how great or small, we need what you have to offer. Check out the Volunteer Section on our website to learn about ways you can answer the call to get involved.