Wesley-Rankin offers a different path to young people from the west side of Dallas
It’s tough growing up on West side of Dallas. You’re surrounded by poverty, crime, and plenty of opportunities to make bad decisions that lead to terrible consequences, from quitting school to getting caught up in gang life to ending up behind bars.
The staff at Wesley-Rankin Community Center knows that the odds are against the kids in their neighborhood. Which is why they put such effort into giving every boy and girl they work with a chance to take a different road. They’re working to create systemic, sustainable change for the residents in their community.
“Martin” is one such child. Martin, now 14, has been a regular visitor to the community center since he was in second grade. He’s a good kid growing up in very challenging circumstances, from neglect and abuse to a sense of being alone in the world. And as he gets older, he’s struggling to overcome that reality.
“Ever since I can remember, Wesley-Ranking has led be to the right path,” Martin explains. “They talk to me. They listen to me. They’ve kept me from making bad choices. Plus, I know I can make them laugh.”
But as Martin grows up, with his quick wit and ready smile, darker forces in his neighborhood are working to pull him in the wrong direction. He knows all the drug houses. And local gangs are actively recruiting him.
Grants from TMF help ensure that staff at Wesley-Rankin is there for Martin. So he knows that there is a place in his neighborhood where he is loved, encouraged and supported in his effort to make the right choices that will give him a chance to create a better life.
“We know that for our kids, every day is a struggle. With the help of TMF, we can be there every day to let them know that they are loved, and to show them there are people who care deeply for them and who will support them in their efforts to find a better path. ”
- Sarah Squires, Executive Director Wesley-Rankin Community Center