rising-1Miguel’s parents, neither of whom completed elementary school in their homeland of Mexico, immigrated to America where they raised their family of eight in a one-bedroom apartment.  Miguel developed avid academic interests –he’d read Augustine in his spare time! – and he excelled in the classroom.  Last year, Miguel graduated with honors from one of the most prestigious universities in Southern California. He’s now applying to law school.

Latoya grew up in a family of gang members.  Though a child herself, much of the care for her siblings fell to her. In spite of the challenges,  she applied herself to her studies and developed powerful communication skills.  She is now attending college back east on scholarship and hopes to teach one day.

What do Miguel and Latoya have in common, other than thriving in the midst of challenging situations? These two are products of Covenant Presbyterian Church’s Rising TIDE after-school program. Our motto is Uplifting the Lives of Urban Children and Youth.

The program serves an average of 100 students a day – at no cost to the families.  The students are mostly low-income and mostly Black and Latino.  The program provides tutoring, help with homework, an evening “study hall” for Middle School and High School students, supervised recreation and sports, and educational “clubs” in areas such as science, mathematics, the arts, health and wellness, and life skill development.

Though never required, over 90% of the students participate in spiritual programs such as Bible study and worship.

Among the regular participants, 95% go on to college, university or trade school.  Many have become dedicated members of Covenant, and some “alumni” are now bringing their own children to the program.

This would not be possible without the generous support from many of our own Los Ranchos congregations: Good Shepherd, St. Peter’s by the Sea, First Fullerton, Geneva and Grace First.  The Presbyterian Women of the Presbytery and the Presbytery itself have also given grants to Rising TIDE.

Will you join us? You can volunteer and give here.