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Carol is a single mom that lives in the Colony Square apartments where Stay Focused provided “Hope on Wheels” for the past 3 summers. This weekly event is filled with summer activities, character lessons and snacks for the children of the Colony Square apartments.  IMG_2118

Carol saw so many of the kids that reside there being influenced by the negative activities of  the neighborhood with no positive outlets or opportunities. It was not uncommon young girls to come to her door and ask for advice or just talk about life Carol’s role as a mentor to these young ladies. With the encouragement of Stay Focused staff Carol was inspired to take it a step further and she formed the “Bakersfield Finest Drill Team” for the girls living in her complex.

She along with other parent volunteers taught the girls a routine and began to practice. At the beginning of the summer of 2014 Carol heard about and attended one of the Hope on Wheels events and approached Manuel Carrizalez and asked if her drill team could perform at the event. Manuel agreed and the drill team entertained the 75-80 attendees that day. The response from the residence was so positive that the team performed at two consecutive events. Manuel noticed that the girls didn’t all have matching shirts and asked Carol about it and she said they didn’t have the funds to design and print shirts for the team so Manuel agreed to help them and had shirts printed.

Carol’s positive influence doesn’t stop with the girls on her drill team but extends to the mothers of the students on the team. Recently while hosting information booth at Stella Hill’s back to school parent night, which is right across the street from the Colony Square apartments. Stay Focused staff saw 20-30 parents and students surround Carol as she sat and waited for the parent night program to start.

This is one shining example of how Stay Focused Ministries partners with neighborhoods, schools, parents and students to positively impact our city.

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