Inspire, Summer 1994

A News Publication for Cedarville College Alumni lir SUMMER 1994 Monica Coleman Shares Christ With Tomorrow's Adults A Ithough a young woman herself, Monica Coleman'90 is following a ministry/career path which allows her to encourage and support troubled and underprivileged children. Monica sees Christ as the hope for their future and delights in sharing God with a wide range ofchildren and youth. Monica entered Cedarville College the first year that criminaljustice was offered as a major."The offering ofcriminal justice is why I chose to attend Cedarville. Although I am not employed byjuvenile court or as a probation officer,I use the knowledge of my Christian liberal arts education each day in the classroom." Monica is currently employed by Fairfax County Alternative Schools in Virginia teaching biology,algebra I&II,and geometry to youths in a drug treatment program. "God worked out all the details for this job and the interview," recalls Monica. After graduation,Coleman served as a counselor at Residential Youth Services in Alexandria, Virginia—a residential treatment program for abused,neglected, and needy children—for two and a half years. A friend at the children's agency told Monica about the teaching position,and God worked out the details, including placing Monica in a teaching situation. In the six months that Monica has worked at Vista Day School,she hasfound herjob challenging and rewarding. All eight high school students,ages 15 to 17, who attend the alternative school, are drug-addicted,and drug testing is a weekly occurrence. Several of the students distribute drugs as well."Vista is a last effort for a semi-traditional high school education for these troubled teens. Ifa student comes to school on drugs or with drugs,our policy is three strikes and they are out," states Monica.Students attend classes from 1 p.m.each day and attend rehabilitation sessions in the afternoon. Classes are held fall through summer,with many ofthe students attending summer school. Monica states, "Parents are typically uninvolved in their youth's life or are in need of rehabilitation themselves. That's very hard for me.But rewards come in the small steps,like when a student is really concentrating on the concept being taught and the understanding light goes on. Those are some ofthe best experiences I have had teaching these teens. I co-teach with a Christian woman,and we pray together weekly for our students. Although witnessing in the classroom is not allowed, we know praying for these teens is an effective ministry to them." Monica attends Charity Baptist Church in McLean,Virginia with several other Cedarville alumni and carries over her puppet experience from Cedarville to work with teenagers in her church. Monica co-trains and co-leads a group of six 12- and 13-year-olds in a puppet team which performs for community nursing homes and other churches.She is thankful for the MIS experience at Cedarville and the opportunity to travel to South Africa for two summers with a puppet team.Monica states,"I love working with this group and am surprised how much God used my Cedarville opportunity to prepare me for this. We started by making our own stage and hand-sewn puppets. Now the church has established a puppetfund that we can use to purchase what is needed to carry on this ministry." Besides traveling to South Africa,Monica was also involved with the Dayton Gospel Mission while attending Cedarville. Monica's challenge for herself and for others is "Get involved!" She sees today's children as tomorrow's future and builds into young lives through her example and witness for the Lord.