LET'S GO 360

Episode 15 Transforming Urban Youth

May 18, 2022 Larrie Fraley Season 1 Episode 15
LET'S GO 360
Episode 15 Transforming Urban Youth
Show Notes Transcript

Adam Mosbrucker is a Phoenix native and  is newly married to his wife Briona.   Adam is a teacher and mentor and serves at the non-profit organization, Elevate Phoenix.  Elevate Phoenix, strives to create long-term, life changing relationships with urban youth.  Adam is passionate about the next generation and seeing them become thriving young leaders in the community and around the world.   



Website: https://elevatephoenix.org/ 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/elevatephoenixaz

Instagram:  @elevatephoenix 

Christ’s Church of the Valley: https://ccv.church/ 

CCV Missions:  www.ccv.church/missions  

Pastor Larrie Fraley: linkedin.com/in/larrie-fraley-53445032 

Email: missions@ccv.church 


Episode 15 Adam Mosbrucker, Elevate Phoenix

Larrie: [00:00:02] Welcome to another episode of Let's Go 360. Let's Go 360 is a podcast for listeners who want to know more about what God is doing around the world here, near and far. This podcast is sponsored by Christ’s Church of the Valley, also known as CCV,  One Church with many locations across the Greater Phoenix area with plans to expand wherever God wants CCV to go. And as always, our show notes will have links to helpful information discussed in each podcast episode, along with a complete transcript of every episode. Check out all episodes on letsgo360.org and be sure to check out CCV at CCV’s website. CCV.church. My name is Larrie Fraley. I'm your host and lead pastor of the local and global missions here at CCV. I am so honored today to have a good friend. Adam Mosbrucker is a Phoenix native and is newly married to his wife Bryona. Adam is a teacher and mentor and serves at a nonprofit organization, Elevate Phoenix. Elevate Phoenix strives to create long term, life changing relationships with the urban youth. Adam is passionate about the next generation and seeing them thrive to become young leaders in the community and around the world. Adam, welcome to the show, my friend.


Adam: [00:01:34] Larrie Thank you for having me.


Larrie: [00:01:36] Adam. Our listeners always like to know about the lives of our guests. Could you share with us a little bit about yourself, your family, maybe some hobbies and anything interesting?


Adam: [00:01:47] Yeah, I'd love to. You know, I'm a Phoenix native, born and raised. Like you mentioned recently, married to my beautiful wife back in July in California, we had an absolutely wonderful wedding. So blessed, so blessed. Been a long time coming. So that's a big highlight in my life right now. But other than that, you know, I'm. Having the privilege and the honor to serve in South Phoenix. It's our community. I'm learning from them in ways that I've never learned before. And so I would say that's my hobby is being engaged with our South Phoenix community, engaged with our kids, learning new things and being challenged every day.


Larrie: [00:02:33] Right. So you've been around CCV for a while. Tell us about that story.


Adam: [00:02:37] Yeah, I've been around TV for a long time. Probably attended for over 12 years now. Met you many, many years ago as I was an intern at Go 360 and then did the Leadership Institute after I graduated college, I was part of the first year, the Leadership Institute. That was a great experience and then just continued to serve in different ways after that experience, in different capacities here at the church.


Larrie: [00:03:02] Right. Well, now tell us about Elevate.


Adam: [00:03:06] Yeah. So Elevate is an amazing non-profit organization I've been with for six years. And like you said, we strive to create long term, life changing relationships with urban youth. So we are really embedded in the Phoenix Unified School District. We teach leadership and life skill classes in the high schools. We're an accredited class. We're not an after school program. We are a part of our kids regular schedule. So they get a grade for our class, they see us every single day, and so we get to build a different kind of relationship than if we were just an after school program or an organization that just support kids outside of school. We are embedded with them and their lives in the high school.


Larrie: [00:03:52] I know that you have a lot of supporters. Many of the corporations around the valley are behind you on this. Can you tell us a little bit about a few of them?


Adam: [00:04:01] Yeah, we've got some amazing partners. I mean, one that recently came up maybe about a year ago, Devin Booker actually made us part of his Fab Five and donated money to our program and gave us an opportunity to actually build a student loft where students can come. And it's kind of a central hub for us to have events or different classes outside of the classroom for our kids, and we're really appreciative of that. We've got partnerships all around the valley.


Larrie: [00:04:32] And I know you've got well, you got the Diamondbacks, you've got the Cardinals, Fry’s. I mean, there's a long list of major corporations that are all behind you. So that says something for you because you're doing something right.


Adam: [00:04:50] Oh, thank you.


Larrie: [00:04:50] Tell us a little bit about what what's it look like inside of Elevate, maybe what you do your role is a  teacher or or mentor or coach. How many of the Adams are at Elevate?


Adam: [00:05:04] Yeah. So my role is as a teacher- mentor and this is really the core role that elevate Phoenix. So right now we're embedded in three high schools in the Phoenix Unified School District. We're at Cesar Chavez, Camelback and Maryville. What I do is I have a caseload. We have technically four classes, but I teach two of them and I'm in charge of this group of kids. And we teach 13 character qualities and life skills every day. I'll teach a lesson to my students on Monday and the cool part of our program is then they'll take that lesson on Tuesday and they'll go to the local feeder elementary school and teach that same lesson. Wow. They go every single week. They have their same kids, so they build relationships, they run the classroom. And the cool part is, as they grow with their kids and they stick with our program, let's say they're a junior and now they're a senior in our program. Well, those elementary kids that they taught in fifth grade, now they get to teach in sixth grade as seniors. So it's holistic. A lot of my students right now are former elementary kids that are in our class. And then they we've got college programs as well. And so they continue to stick with us. And it's just a very holistic program we, like I mentioned before, Because we're not teachers were employed by Elevate Phoenix and not the district, We're allowed a certain level of freedom that regular teachers aren't. We can mentor the kids outside the classroom. We can have their phone numbers. We can take them to events and build these relationships because of the nonprofit status. So it really gives us an opportunity to pour into their lives in a unique way that's more like family, really, than anything else.


Larrie: [00:06:56] Well, I know one way that you've poured into the lives of these kids is you've actually taken them on a mission trip. Tell us about that.


Adam: [00:07:03] Yeah. So this is something that I. I really had a heart for when I came on At the start of Elevate. You know, I'm, like I said, been a part of. I've gone on trips gone on trips on my own as well. And even in college, I went with some trips with the school I went to. And it just dawned on me that a lot of our students in the urban core don't leave their neighborhood. And this was a real tragedy to me because my life was transformed by a lot of these trips. I got to see new perspectives. It really challenged me and grew me as a person. And so I thought, these kids need to have these experiences. And so long story short, with a partnership with CCV, we were able to take many, many students on these trips around the world to serve local communities and To me, I might be a little biased, but it's been one of the most game changing things for our students to experience and they come back different. And that was the hope because they saw something in a unique way. And here's the cool part. I think for me, I would go to these communities and I would see poverty and I would see struggle and I would come back grateful. Right? Like, wow, you know, I have a really good life here. And there's so many people around the world that have struggled, which probably many felt that. For our students, though in the urban core it was, Oh, there's someone out there like me. There's someone out there around the world that's also struggling. And so it was a different perspective for me to see that because I didn't expect that, that these kids came away hopeful because there was someone else potentially going to similar things that they are.


Larrie: [00:08:56] Well, it's so it's so good to hear that, because these trips are truly life transformation trips. And that's one of the goals of our podcast. That's one of the goals of our missions department here and ministry here at CCV is to transform lives and also to create this information and knowledge of world culture and world view. And trips have a way of doing that. You know, so many of us don't get the opportunity to go on a on a trip. And so our worldview is based on information we read and to be honest, just our imagination. And it's not until you actually go on location to where you can experience a life changing, transformational event. And so I'm so happy that these kids get to share that. Does elevate have any plans to operate outside of the borders of CCV or excuse me, outside of the borders of the greater Phoenix area?


Adam: [00:10:00] You know, I think that's. That would obviously be a goal. But we  want to make sure that we're there for the long haul. A lot of our kids experience quite a bit of abandonment and Instability in their life. And so we want to make sure that when we go to a high school, that we're there for the long haul. And so, you know, we we're still somewhat of a young organization, 13, 14 years old. And we're only in three high schools, but that's kind of intentional. We don't want to rush the process because it takes quite a bit to build out a fully fledged pipeline. You need for teacher mentors. You need vans to be able to transport kids to our events. You obviously need the funding to keep us there because we're free to the Phoenix Unified High School. We don't charge them anything. We're a free service, so we really take our time. And so our goal right now is to be in every Phoenix Unified High School first. That's kind of our our target. And then from there, yeah, I'm sure we'll continue to expand and go across the whole valley.


Larrie: [00:10:59] Wherever God wants you to go, right? Yep. So we want to hear about some stories, some success stories of your students. Can you share some of those with us?


Adam: [00:11:10] I would love to you. And we were chatting a little bit before this. It's it's challenging sometimes. I bet when you're in all of us, when we're in this kind of work because you have so many, he's like, what's the right one to pick? But I want to pick one that's relevant, recent. So we had a girl last year in our class who one of those students who despite circumstances was really driven and one of the kind of front row kind of students, you know, is engaged and wants to do well. Well, this is not something we've talked about yet, but. You know, COVID was a challenge for everyone. But in my opinion, again, I could be biased. But I think that the pandemic really affected our students, maybe more than anyone else. And so that was a really hard time being online and not knowing when we're going to be back and trying to keep kids engaged when they don't have to get out of bed for school. And yet this particular young lady, she she overcame all of that. And, you know, we really believe that one caring adult in a kid's life, one loving adult is one of the most powerful things for change in a student's life. So we actually have, in each classroom, we've got a male and a female just that there's issues with the males I deal with that my female counterpart would deal with the females. There is some crossover mentorship, but we make sure we have that in place to really help the students. So, you know, my partner was mentoring this girl and I was doing some crossover as well. And she really overcame the the pandemic, stayed committed, came back to school because at Chavez they had the option to not come back.


Adam: [00:12:54] They could have stayed online. She came back to school and she was really, really driven for what was next in her life. But here was the problem. She doesn't have a relationship with her father. And so that created a lot of challenges in her heart. And secondly, she was having some issues with her, with her legal status here in the United States. And so she was in the process to receive citizenship. But because of the pandemic, all that halted. And so here she is, a senior, doesn't have a relationship with her dad, struggling with where she stands in the world as a citizen. And there was really no hope because she can't go to school. And she's about to graduate and she's driven but doesn't have the opportunity. And so Elevate went to work and we started going to our different partners and we started going through our Rolodex of people who have a heart for our kids. And through a series of events, she was able to get a full ride scholarship to a school out in New Mexico. And she's there now. She's thriving. She's in the process to get that citizenship back rolling again, to get that finalized. And she is really, really working really hard. And in terms of relationship with us, she's really communicated that, And this is I don't take this lightly, but she has seen us as some of. The closest people in our life, almost so where she would say were as impactful as her parents. And so it's just been a real, real honor to watch that process unfold for her and watch her thrive out there in New Mexico and excited to see what's going to come.


Larrie: [00:14:40] It must be really inspiring and fulfilling to be able to see one of these kids go on and succeed in life that, you know, you've had some influence on. So just congrats on that.


Adam: [00:14:54] Oh, thank you. It really is an honor and a privilege. I get to learn from them far more than I think I teach them. You know, I'm. Let's just call it as it is. I'm a white male going into the urban core. And there's a lot that comes with that. And I really learned that I have to put myself in a position of humility. I have to put myself in a position where, hey, I've got to learn from these kids because they often have far more to teach us than maybe we have to teach them. And I think that's just a good model. Anywhere you go, especially when you go on trips globally and locally, take that that mindset of I want to learn rather than try to instill something you think is is better for them. And so, you know, shout out to my kids for being willing to accept me into their world and make me a part of it.


Larrie: [00:15:52] How long did it take you to earn that? I mean, that's not something. You just start on day one and have a relationship with the kids that actually trust you. How long? Tell me about that process.


Adam: [00:16:04] Yeah, that was a process. Probably two years, I would say, of. Me being consistent. Showing the consistency of my character. And continuing to treat the kids with love despite how they treated me. There was many days when students wouldn't look me in the eye. There was many days when I would say hi to a student and they would not acknowledge me back. Not take my lessons seriously. And I don't blame them for that because they have a certain perception and they've had certain experiences that are real and have affected them. And unfortunately, a lot of those experiences, I happen to look like those people that cause them to feel that way. And so it was a long process. But again, credit to them.  They opened their hearts to me. And I guess in a way I thankful I had the foresight to stay consistent and not run when things got hard or say, Oh, now this, this is too hard. You know, these kids don't care. You know, instead of taking that mindset, I was able to take the mindset of, Hey, I know there's something deeper here. This isn't about me. It's more about something much bigger systemic. And so, yeah, it took about two years, but now it's I'm one of one of the family.


Larrie: [00:17:29] How cool is that? It just goes to show you what loving people and hanging in there for the long term can do. Any other success stories?


Adam: [00:17:40] Yeah, we've got a lot. This is a really cool one. Like I mentioned earlier, we've got this holistic approach. We start mentoring kids in the second grade and we go all the way up to their first year of college. And so ideally what we'd like to see is our students come back to their community and pour back into their own community. And so right now we have a young lady, Kayla. She's actually one of our interns. She's in the process right now of learning how to be a teacher mentor. And she's still figuring out exactly what her future is going to look like. But she was one of our students in elementary, and she's now an intern for us at Elevate Phoenix. And we've got a couple stories like that of former students who are actually now staff. She's one that I got to mentor, so that's pretty cool. That's why I bring her up and she's really killing it. She's doing a great job and she's actually stepped in to teach our middle school program at our feeder elementary school, Bernard Black down in Laveen. So really, really proud of her.


Larrie: [00:18:44] That's so cool. Well, Adam, as we wrap up here, how can we pray for you?


Adam: [00:18:50] Yeah, thanks, Larrie. I appreciate that. I think. If there's going to be prayers offered, I would say it's two fold. Number one for the teacher mentors. You know, this role is if you're doing it correctly. This role is, like I've mentioned so many times, a great honor and a privilege, but it's also very, very challenging emotionally. You know, I've been in this now for six years and, you know, these students have a lot of trauma. And, you know, we are the caring adult in their life. So we are the ones who hear that trauma on the daily from multiple kids. And so I think over the years, it's begun to take a little bit of a toll and it can take a toll on many that secondary trauma that we experience. So I think just. Prayers for strength, perspective and those hard moments. And then I would say secondarily, you know, our kids, they are experiencing challenging challenging things, especially in South Phoenix. We. We've had a hard, hard year at Chavez. There's been a number of fights. And, you know, I'm not sure if you heard, but we actually had a school shooting this year. And so that's a first for me. And so there's a lot of things we could pinpoint and navigate us to why those things are happening. But I think a lot of it does have to do with the pandemic. And kids were cooped up for a while and now they're back together. And we're trying to figure out what it looks like to be in real life again, on a campus of 3000. So. Pray for our students and their  hearts and and that they'll be able to see another way.


Larrie: [00:20:31] We'll certainly do that. If our listeners want to know more about Elevate Phoenix, where would they go?


Adam: [00:20:36] Well, you can go to elevatephoeni.org. That's probably the best place. We've got all our social media handles as well.


Larrie: [00:20:46] Great. And so we'll certainly include your website Elevatephoenix.org in our show notes and links and people can go there and find out more. Well, thanks for joining us today and we really look forward to having you back on the show. And maybe, maybe next time you can bring one of those students.


Adam: [00:21:06] Would love to.


Larrie: [00:21:08] Right. Well, God bless you.


Adam: [00:21:09] Thank you, Larrie. I appreciate it.


Larrie: [00:21:12] Well, as we wrap up today's show, we want to thank you for listening. You can follow us on your favorite podcast app and leave us a five star review if you like what you've heard today and want to hear more. That way more people can hear about what God is doing around the world. Also, you can follow us on our website at www.letsgo360.org.   You can also check out CCV at CCV’s website. Ccv.church. Thanks for joining us. And as we talk with those living out the great commission inspired by the Great Commandments so that we might stand before the great multitudes, before the throne, when the mission of God is complete. May God bless you as we go and send those here near and far.