Do you remember when you were first introduced to Mika?
I do. It was the fall after graduating from college when Jamie Huff, a friend and Professor at Vanguard, introduced me. Sitting in Christine and Lindsy’s apartment on Shalimar, filling out my volunteer application changed the direction of my life. I could not have anticipated the way that Mika would become my home or guessed how deeply I would grow to love my city.
Over the past 12 years, Christine built an incredible foundation for our community and it was an honor to serve beside her. Being called to the role of Executive Director is something I could not have imagined on that not so ordinary day 11 years ago. Now, as we honor the past and look forward to the future, I’m privileged to be in the position of building on the foundation that Christine and so many others established.
Our work has always been, and will always be, rooted in leadership development. We believe developing leaders in low-income communities in Costa Mesa IS the means by which we have and will see our city transformed.
Community leaders, volunteers, and partners who have been praying and discerning together have confirmed that, what we have built matters. It is making lasting change and we want to keep that momentum going. To that achieve that goal we will focus our resources on strengthening and growing the Mika Leadership Institute at 3 levels: adults, youth, and kids.
Our approach to working with whole families is critical for kids to reap the benefits of growing up seeing their older siblings and parents lead in their communities.
Mary’s story exemplifies this well. Mary is the first person in her family to start college and was just hired as Mika’s Site Coordinator at the Maple Learning Center. Mary grew up across the courtyard from our Hope Community Center on Center St. and participated in all of Mika’s programs. She grew up watching her parents and other adults in their community lead positive change. She’s excited to give back and continue to influence the community she loves.
Deepening our commitment in 2016 we will:
· Serve 200 kids, youth and adults through Mika Leadership Institute
· Raise $125/month x 200 people to fund leadership development activities ($300,000/year)
· Work with over 500 volunteers and 40 mentors to achieve our goal of developing leaders in our community
Would you consider partnering with us as a volunteer, mentor or financial partner?
You are an essential part of the Mika community. In addition to sharing more about Mika with you, I would very much like to discover more of your vision for our city. If you would like to set up time together, please feel free to contact me. I’ll be reaching out to you over the next few months as we explore what God has in store for us in this season ahead.