New Classrooms, Timeless Skills

Our Community Center staff is focused on developing timeless skills in the youth who attend our programs.

We call them the seven C’s: Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Character, Care, and Confidence. These skills and attributes will allow our students to achieve success in our ever-changing world.

In an effort to more effectively teach the C’s, our Community Center staff has envisioned specific classrooms that will equip them and our students to fully explore the breadth and depth of each skill-related C.

Communications Room

This room will include professional equipment to allow our students to create podcasts, videos, music, and more. They will learn how to set up and/or use microphones, monitors, and different software.

One of our primary goals at the Community Center is to provide youth with access and opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have. By exposing them to this level of equipment, they will develop skills that they can use in their professional lives.

Collaboration Room

This room will offer different equipment (including a green screen and digital white board) to enable students to effectively work together. Flexible furniture will allow the space to be transformed to meet the various needs of the group activities.

Students often engage in theater productions, and this will be a space where they can practice, collaborate with, and perform for other groups!

Creativity Room

This room will incorporate everything needed for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities. There will be a 3D printer, robotics equipment, tablets, a cricut machine, art supplies, and a whiteboard wall.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in different labs and projects. These will rotate and allow youth to build and create things that interest them, including t-shirts and mugs, and be a true maker space.

Critical Thinking Room

This room will challenge students to research and use reason. It will serve as the center’s library with hundreds of books, several worktables, calculators, and chromebooks to encourage youth not only to learn but to actually apply their knowledge in useful ways!

This room will also provide a quiet space for students to work on homework. This will be especially helpful for those students who struggle to focus.

Thomas and Sandra Chilcote generously funded this room. Thank you for your incredible support!

Multi-Purpose and Teen Rooms

In addition, we will have a multi-purpose room and a teen room. These rooms, along with those previously mentioned, will help develop the remaining C’s: Character, Care, and Confidence.

The multi-purpose rooms will include tables, chairs, and an info board. It will be used for family dinners, snack, and lunchtime during our summer program; we are also considering renting this space out for private events in the future.

The teen room will allow students to have their own space to grow closer to one another and our staff. There will be video game consoles, a hotdog machine, and a stocked mini-fridge.

A special thank you to Hilary Peery Vesell, Esq., for funding this incredible room that will help our students and staff bond!

There are additional naming opportunities for the remaining classrooms. Please consider reaching out to Cindy Mallow at if you are interested in supporting generations of local families with your generous gift.

Leading the Way

Genesis came to Bethesda Mission in 2022. After her husband, Mike, began working at the Community Center, she began to volunteer and develop relationships with the kids.

While Genesis felt called to serve youth, she was concerned with how working at Bethesda would affect the family dynamic.

During a tour with Andre and Nashon, Genesis prayed with a girl who was struggling with her mom’s disengagement in her life. The kid told Nashon that they needed to hire her.

“I knew I could be me, and [that was] who they needed,” Genesis shared. “[They] need nurturing and to hear about Jesus. I could serve these kids in a meaningful way.”

Genesis is our DREAM coordinator, working with 2nd-4th grade kids. Her group emphasizes Creativity and Care.

Colleen McCallus has always had a passion for kids. She served as a teacher for years, working with both gifted and at-risk kids in various settings. Although she loved what she did, she was frustrated that she couldn’t share her faith directly with her students.

Colleen is also certified to provide animal assisted therapy. She builds students’ confidence and understanding by leading them to interact with and learn about horses.

After Colleen retired from teaching, she was looking for ways to minister to those in need (a skill she honed in Connecticut). She joined Bethesda in 2022.

“I don’t have to hold back anymore,” Colleen said. “I can share THE answer.”

Colleen serves as our INPIRE coordinator, leading 5th-8th graders. Her class focuses on developing Communication and Collaboration.

Blessings Abound

Through their work at the Community Center, Genesis and Colleen bless others and are blessed.

“We can support families and provide resources,” Genesis said. “We were able to give space to a parent who learned her sister had cancer. We kept her daughter a little bit longer and just gave her some space.”

“We can show them Jesus,” Colleen added. “We can be the church for [these] families.”

They also shared that they have picked up kids from school on Wednesdays and brought them to the Community Center when their parents couldn’t leave work.

As for their own blessings, “this is church for us,” Colleen shared. “It’s a reflection of what God wants for his family. I have incredibly deep relationships [with my fellow staff].”

“I [get to] see how God uses others,” Genesis stated. “Parents have fulfilled prayer. I’ve become more grateful.”

God is truly working in the lives of our youth, families, and staff. He is blessing the work at our Community Center.

Please consider supporting the future of local families by donating toward the construction of these vital classrooms. You can do so here.

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