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Community Assets Interview Questionnaire

1. What is your name?

Shanceler Terry

2. What is the name of the organization you work/volunteer for?

Texas Beacon of Light Outreach

3. How long have you worked with this organization?

I am the founder of the organization – 6 years

4. What is your role in the organization?

Executive Director and President of the Board

5. What first attracted you to the work of this organization?

I began as a teacher in an urban at-risk school teaching middle school. I was offered the opportunity to oversee a 21Century Learning Center grant which focused on after school programs and transforming neighborhood schools into true community centers. We served the youth and the community through after school programs, computer, GED, ESL, Citizenship and parenting classes. I fell in love with the concept of bringing together students, parents and teachers to empower communities. As I progressed in the after-school field, I wanted to do more, make a larger impact. I wanted to help communities beyond the after school hours and beyond the area I was in. I envisioned Beacon of Light – lighthouses across the city – across the nation – a place of refuge for all – thus was birthed Texas Beacon of Light Outreach.

6. What values does your organization provide to the community?

The value and message that we want to send is that every community member – teachers, parents, students, organizations have the power to empower and transform their communities using what they already have in their hands. We want to encourage them to sharpen the skills they have and begin to drill a hole into the one area they are strongest in – and begin to grow this skill – not just inward – but outward. Grow the skill and purpose placed in you – not just to help yourself but to better those around you and your community.

7. Who does your organization aim to serve?

Our main target area is at-risk youth. We have begun to move towards a defined focus area of youth – serving homeless youth and youth of service men and women – active or in-active. We believe that although, building skills in youth can make a difference, if those skills are not harnessed at home, as well as in the community where the youth reside and spend most of their time, our efforts can at times be futile. Therefore we also reach out to the communities – assisting non-profits with grant seeking, writing and development and parents with family outreach resources.

8. Can you share a story of a time when you saw evidence of your organization’s positive impact on an individual or the community? (Feel free to change names of anyone involved)

I remember two years ago when we were beginning a music program at a local middle school, and a young lady was slowly gathering her things after class had ended. She said, “I don’t know if I can do this.” I asked her why. She began to tell the story of how her father loved music and how they would sing together and make songs together. See her father had just recently passed away. She said – music just reminds me so much of him. I encouraged her, gave her a quick hug and then she left class. Ten weeks later she stood on the stage of the local school singing her original song and smiling. When we presented her with her award at the end of the evening, she had tears streaming down her face. She said, “ I did it. I know my dad was watching me.” There have been so many stories like this, especially in our music program where students are challenged to compose an original song and perform it. Many of our kiddos don’t realize the talents and skills they possess until they are challenged to tap into them and utilize them. I do not know of many that have ever been disappointed.

9. What motivates you to keep working when you feel discouraged or overwhelmed?

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the need in the communities. I feel we have a lot to offer, but we don’t have enough manpower to make it all happen. I have to, at these times, read the students’ letters, look at their pictures, listen to the music they have written and really focus on not what we have left to do, but what we have already done, and the difference we have made in 6 years. I believe if we only touch one life – that one could be the one to touch millions.

10. How would a person contact your organization and acquire the assistance or services you offer?

Please visit our website at www.txbeaconoflight.org

Or send an e-mail to info@txbeaconoflight.org

Thank you for the opportunity to share.

507 Taskwood Drive
Richmond, Tx 77469
Phone: 281.725.4677

Texas Beacon of Light Outreach
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