Tre9, Bobby Herring
Ministry: Eyes on Me, Inc.
City: Houston, TX
In 2008, I started a 501 c3 non-profit organization called Eyes On Me Inc which exists to mentor, disciple and serve at-risk youth and their families. Primarily in under-served communities, we engage students through in-school assemblies, mentoring and meeting student school supply needs. We also run three mission centers near schools, where we deploy an annual average of 5,000 volunteers to serve 50,000 people annually and mentor 100’s of youth on and off campus.
Our collaboration with schools has been positive for the students “in the schools”, but also when they exit the campus and continue to face negative pressures. We are often their biggest advocates. We believe school Chaplains will be great advocates too.
We offer many programs that help students make good choices while at school and at home, but we also help them develop life skills & trade skills to be employable in their future. It would be very beneficial to have paid Chaplains on campus, because they can connect youth into positive organizations like ours that will support and encourage them off campus. Currently some schools don’t have this advocacy and are overwhelmed.
Like Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, we focus on physiological needs, safety/security, love/belonging, self esteem and self actualization.
I was a trained volunteer chaplain in the Harris county jail for three years and I’ve seen first hand how chaplains made a difference. The Chaplaincy department helped these jails curb negative behaviors. In addition, when men and women get out of jail, we continue offering support services that decrease recidivism and support a productive life.
I say that to make this point. No matter what institution chaplains are in, we care and love beyond the building, the career, and the job. Paid Chaplains can help our youth overcome crises situations and other pressures in life, and connect them to aftercare programs such as what Eyes On Me Inc provides.
Chaplains bring a value that goes beyond head knowledge, because of spiritual wisdom and unconditional love that drives these servants.