Donuts and discussion

Mary-Grace Graham, Editor

Every Friday, bright and early, leaders involved in Campus Life bring in donuts, coffee and juice for a morning of fun and fellowship in Canes Cafe.  Breakfast Club, run by Campus Life, is open to anyone and everyone.  It starts at 7 a.m. in the Canes Café, located in building seven across from the cafeteria.

Starting the day off right Mr. Jomisko discusses his early life and how he dealt with bullying to positively impact students in similar situations. He was the guest speaker this past Friday. Chantel Lawton stated, “It has really changed my whole life.”

Campus Life is a high school ministry branching out from Youth for Christ.  This organization focuses on establishing and building relationships between students and Christ.  They do this by welcoming everyone with open arms… and donuts.  Leaders involved in the Campus Life ministry run the program here at school, with Mrs. Jenan Wood as the head leader of Campus Life and Ms. Christine Miller as the club sponsor. All of the leaders are passionate about what they do, and it shows.

“I love connecting with new students and just telling them how much they are worth or just giving them a smile,” said Carlos Portillo, a youth pastor, and Campus Life leader.

This organization goes beyond schools. Campus Life is currently working on the finishing touches of the Bradenton 180 House, a place with games, a cafe and so much more to serve as a hangout for teens. It is located at 1901 30th Avenue West. With the help of many volunteers, some of which attend on Friday mornings, the Bradenton 180 House is close to completion.

We have caring volunteer adults that bring free donuts, coffee and juice every week and create a loving environment for kids to relax and be part of a family.”

— Jenan Wood

Campus Life came to Manatee during the 70s and 80s for about 20 years and then back again in 2012. Chantel Lawton, now a leader, was introduced to Campus Life during her high school career in 2012, the year the organization came back to Manatee.

“When I graduated high school, I just went straight into leadership with Jenan,” stated Lawton, who has been involved in the ministry ever since.

Campus Life is an excellent opportunity to meet new people and talk to leaders who are there to help. Following the donuts and socializing every week, a teacher, leader or even fellow student talks to the group about their story or how to overcome various situations in life and to provide encouragement. Wood’s goal as a leader is to “help kids know they are special.”