Summer JAM Begins!

The energy level on the first day of Summer JAM is so high! After a week full of hard work and preparation, we are all so excited to get the summer kicked off.

Our summer interns during their training week Prayer Drive
Summer at Fortress is quite a bit different from the school year. We have our three full time staff members, and two year-round staff members taking care of the administrative duties, or "the boring stuff." The "fun stuff," working with the kids, is left up to our 12 wonderful interns! These ladies and gentlemen are all college students who have devoted their summer to showing the love of Jesus Christ to our kids.

Our lead interns are Claire Davis (Texas A&M), Ross Walker (ACU), and Zack Cartmel (TCU). Our interns are Frankie Torres (TCC), Chandler Young (Texas A&M), Lacie Pence (Tarleton State), Landon Brightwell (Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design), Haley French (Harding), Julie Pritchett (Harding), Christie Holland (TCU), Julie Spears (Harding), and Taylor Bates (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs).

We also have two junior interns this summer, Roy Harris and Breanna Blaylock, who are both former Fortress kids that wanted to continue working at Fortress as their time as students came to an end.

Working with the kids at Fortress is so rewarding, but at times it can be challenging. If you see one of these interns around this summer, please don't hesitate to give them words of encouragement!

Each week we host youth groups who come and volunteer their time on a mission trip at Fortress. Youth groups spend the morning hours working with the kids; each youth group member has a buddy that they spend the week getting to know. In the afternoons, the youth groups participate in Urban Experience. Urban Experience is a three-day poverty simulation that teaches these youth groups about what life can be like for the kids at Fortress.

Our theme this summer is "A Work of Heart." We want our kids to learn that God created each of them with a plan and a purpose. God made these kids exactly the way he wanted them, and we are here to celebrate that fact! They are HIS masterpiece!

YOU can be a part of the action by following our blog this summer. 

What will your blog look like? I'm so glad you asked!

We want our blog to tell the story of Fortress. Every Monday we will feature a "student spotlight" where you will have a chance to learn all about one of our Fortress kids. Tuesday-Thursday you will read unique perspectives about the work that is done at Fortress through guest bloggers that are members of the visiting youth groups. On Fridays we will have a photo blog that documents our week in pictures.

We are so excited about the summer ahead of us, and we cannot wait to share it with you!

"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." Ephesians 2:10