September 23rd 2013
Jillian Moyer, 17, is a typical but busy high school senior; a varsity cheerleader, member of Souderton’s High’s orchestra and the Future Business Leaders of America. But this summer, she took the time to plan and execute a most successful senior service project—a requirement for all Pennsylvania high school students—that paid off big for children in one of America’s most impoverished cities—Camden , NJ. Jillian hosted a golf tournament at Macoby Run Golf Course in Marlborough, PA and raised more than $7000 for UrbanPromise, a nonprofit organization which supports children academically and spiritually and prepares them for leadership that will bring positive change to their communities.
“I started thinking of ways I could help, I didn’t want to raise a hundred dollars, I wanted to do something bigger that would really be beneficial,” she said. Jillian knew first-hand about the mission of UrbanPromise and the needs of the children it serves.. Jillian came to Camden with her church (Souderton Mennonite Church) youth group in the summer of 2012 for a week long service trip. She was assigned to Camp Spirit at the UrbanPromise main campus working with middle school youth. “Just driving over the Ben Franklin Bridge—it was shocking,” she said of seeing Camden for the first time. “I did not know what to expect,” she said, never having seen urban poverty up close. “I am definitely not in a bubble anymore.”
Jillian was impacted by the stories she heard from the children she worked with and was impressed by “…how much love and passion they had for life in spite of what they go through.”
When it came time to plan a senior project, she knew she wanted to go big. Coming from a family of golfers, she put the two together and the tournament she organized was a great success. She raised more than twice her goal of $3000 for Urban Promise. 28 golfers participated in the tournament and many others supported the event through sponsorships.
Jillian returned to UrbanPromise this summer with her parents, Todd and Jennifer to present a check and give her parents a tour of the campus. It was new student orientation at UrbanPromise Academy where Jillian presented the check to UPA principal, Demetrius Marlowe; Executive Director, Jodina Hicks; and the group of new students represented by Siani Burgess, 9th grader.
“The whole experience really opened my eyes to the world, “she said. Jillian plans to attend College next year and major in Chemistry and Criminal Justice.
Funds raised will help UrbanPromise in its mission to equip Camden’s children and young adults with the skills necessary for academic achievement, life management, spiritual growth, and Christian leadership.