By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
NG3 Staff

Challenge, connect and encourage
By NG3 staff

 At NG3, staff members invest time weekly with a small group of students in an effort to challenge them, connect in a more meaningful way, and encourage them to impact their respective communities. These small groups are at the heart of NG3 and are called huddle groups.

This past Christmas, NG3 hosted its first annual Christmas tree lot to address two great needs, funds and community awareness.  It also offered another chance for the young men in the huddle groups to serve their community.  It might not appear like anything special happens for the volunteers who agree to spend a few hours in the cold, tying trees to people’s cars, but Javier Munoz, NG3 staff member at Berkmar High School, shares his experience from one of the nights at the lot…

My huddle group and I worked the Wednesday night shift. By the last Wednesday that we worked, most of the trees were sold, and the lot was slow.  It was cold that night, so we huddled around the fire.  Unprovoked, one of my huddle guys said, “Coach, we should all tell our life stories.”  I had shared with them before parts of my story and how God had done many things in my life, but never had they shared about themselves. Well, I know about their lives because we spend time together, and you learn a lot from just being present, but this was different.

Each time one shared, I was blown away at the strength in each of them, but two stood out for me. The first, who initiated the storytelling, shared how his father was a drug dealer, and one of his father’s friends was killed because of the drugs he was dealing. They had to leave the area he grew up in, out of fear for his father’s life. He also shared that one of his brothers passed away and how it was difficult for his family, but he hopes to see his brother again in heaven. Despite all he has been through, he is on his way to a Division 1 college, not because of football, but because of his academics. He is a great young man full of strong character, and we at NG3, hope to encourage that even more.

The second story is from a student who I wasn’t expecting to help with the tree lot that night. He, like most of the others, comes from a broken home. He told us about how he remembers his father cheating on his mother and his mother fighting with the woman, who lived next door. He was four at the time but remembers this moment very well. He also shared how his older brother (20) passed away during the summer. The loss of his brother impacted his family deeply, as you could imagine, but it greatly affected him. He was no longer motivated to play football and was really struggling at the start of the season, both in school and on the field. He then said something that I believe only God can do. He told us that one day, he decided he needed to change many things in his life. On that day, he came to me and asked if he could join my huddle group that meets weekly. My huddle group had met once already, and he was not a part of the group.  I had not thought of him to join. When he asked me, I challenged him to fully commit for an entire year and let him know I expected great things from him. The day he agreed was three months earlier than this night at the tree lot.  On this cold Wednesday, in a parking lot around a fire, he told us how, since that day, his life has been different.  Is his life perfect? No, but he is on a good path now, and hopefully, with some guidance, he can become everything he dreams to be.”

None of us may have the certainty of hearing a young person relate the impact you are having on his/her life, but it is so important that we all accept the challenge to positively influence their lives!  Have you helped build a young person in some way lately?  

If you feel like you want to help the next generation but don’t know where to start, send us an email, info@ng3.co. 

Interested in finding out more about what NG3 is doing to make a difference in the Next Generation or how you can help? Go to http://www.ng3.co. NG3 is a non-profit 501(c)3 independently funded by donors like you!!

NG3
P.O. Box 1429
Snellville, GA 30078
http://www.ng3.co

Archer HS
Thomas Jannett - Chaplain, Community Coach

Berkmar HS
Javier Muñoz - Character Coach, Community Coach

Brookwood HS
Matt Williams - NG3 Director  Chaplain, Community Coach

Grayson HS
Dustin Mattox - Chaplain, Community Coach

South Gwinnett HS
Michael Woelfl - Chaplain

Community Development
Jon Stinchcomb
jon@ng3.co

NG3 stands for Next Generation: Character  Community  Change.  Their goal is to develop men and women of character to create a positive change in our communities.  NG3 works directly with student athletes in high schools, teaching and practicing the importance of strong core values like responsibility, humility, integrity and honesty. The staff of NG3 works along side the coaches employed by the school, providing a constant presence of reliability and service.