Organization empowers youth with vocational training

Published 1:45 pm Saturday, May 14, 2022

Sharing the love of God may take many guises. At Sulphur Christian Community Coalition  (SC3), where the motto is “Love Changes Everything,” it can take the form of empowering young people through exposure to success and vocational training, putting them in touch with prominent, successful business leaders and seeing the enthusiasm with which those business leaders connect, inspire and give of their time and other resources.

“We work together with volunteers and donors to awaken the capacity of individuals. It’s about development, not charity. It’s a hand up, not a hand out,” said Paula Taylor, SC3 executive director.

The vision of the SC3 includes breaking the multi-
generational cycle of poverty.

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“We have 12 vocationally-themed branches our children, youth and adult programs focus on,” said Paula Taylor, SC3 executive director: Advertising, marketing and graphic design; business, finance and job readiness; childhood development and education; citizenship; creation and outdoor living; creative and cultural arts; culinary and hospitality; engineering, drafting and construction; health and wellness; information technology; mechanics and metalwork; and performing arts.

For instance, as an introduction to construction, younger children who participate in the SHINE program made simple models. Older students, members of RISE UP, made a balsa wood model garage to scale.

“A project engineer from a local engineering firm was a guest speaker at one of the sessions,” Taylor said.

A local building company allowed older students to use tools and materials to replicate the models and then donated the building back to youth.

“We are so humbled by the generosity of Ellender’s Portable Buildings,” Taylor said.

Nurses, farmers, law enforcement officers, business owners, TV sports personalities and others have shared their time and other resources with SHINE and RISE UP.

Shine classes culminated with the operation of their own business for a day, a lemonade stand.

This vocational program is only one facet of this nonprofit’s work designed to equip, empower, encourage and challenge. Trained students may choose to work at one of  SC3’s microbusinesses, for example the downtown boutique Lydia and Lavender or Imagination Studio.

“Registration will open at the end of summer for the next round of Shine and Rise Up,” Taylor said. “These programs are funded by donors.”

Sulphur Christian Community Coalition hosts Hiset Prep Classes (formerly called GED classes), has hosted job fairs, teaches English as a second language, hosts Bible Studies, a summer feeding program and is involved in a gardening project

SC3 offers many ways to join and support its mission. To find out more, go to the website, sulphur, email or call 337-287-0483.