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Summer Youth Outreach Program Makes Community Impact

Fifty-five teenagers spanning seven states came together in July for a week of My City My Passion, a local mission trip experience for young people hosted by the Ellicott City (Md.) church. This program provided an opportunity for youth to train in leadership and discipleship, as well as serve the community through acts of compassion and community service. Throughout the week, the group visited many Ellicott City neighborhoods going door-to-door distributing tracts and Bible studies, and also extending invitations to Vacation Bible School. "My City My Passion has four objectives: it's about leadership, the kids having fun, character development, and service," says Paulo Macena, lead pastor of the Ellicott City church. The summer program also partnered with The 6th Branch, a veteran-led non-profit that helps transform vacant lots in Baltimore City into new and vital community green spaces. The collaborative efforts resulted in a southeast Baltimore community garden being cleaned, expanded and renewed. Claudia Walcott, a Baltimore City resident, witnessed the youth picking up debris in her neighborhood and remarked on their positive impact and shared appreciation for their efforts. "This is wonderful, it's uplifting ... this is like a healing balm," says Walcott.

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