Chances are that if you’ve spent time with any Path Project staff member you’ve heard stories about the amazing kids in our programs. We are inspired by the hard work and dedication of the children and families in our programs and we get excited to brag about them. We also love sharing how Path Project families have impacted our lives as well.
Holly Simmons - VOLUNTEER
“I first began volunteering at the Path Project - Gwinnett Estates, Loganville – late winter 2015. Because Path Project serves children ranging from preschool – high school, there were a number of times / days of the week from which to choose; that flexibility was very appealing. Initially I helped older elementary girls with their homework one afternoon a week. I discovered that I didn’t have to know all the answers or remember long-gone math skills – my role was to simply offer encouragement and help point the girls in the right direction. As the weeks rolled into months, my relationships with the girls grew. By the time they moved into middle school, strong bonds had been formed, and I ended up changing my volunteer day & time so that I could continue being with them.
God has given me a heart for Hispanic people, and by serving Him through the Path Project, I’ve been blessed more than I can say. He has impressed upon me that it’s all about relationships, beginning with my relationship with Him. It doesn’t matter whether or not I speak Spanish, it doesn’t matter that I don’t have a teaching background, it doesn’t matter whether or not I’m a math whiz (I’m not) – the only thing that matters is being in relationship with other people and being Christ to them. My prayer is that by being a faithful, non-judgmental, caring presence in the lives of the Path Project kids, they’ll begin to see the saving love that Jesus has for them. And maybe one day the relationships I’ve established will open a door for me to share Jesus with one (or more!) of them.” - Holly Simmons
Sophia - Graduated student
“My name is Sophia Abarca, and I’ve gotten so many great opportunities with the help of everyone that works in the Path Project. As a kid, I always struggled with school. I had to take ESOL, and I was always getting low grades in every class, but it was difficult for me to understand. My parents couldn’t help me with any of the work because they didn’t know how to help me. I always remember this one moment in 5th grade, my teacher handed out ice cream to the whole class except me because I couldn’t get some of the multiplications problems correct. That teacher told my mom that I needed to go to extra learning classes like Kumon, but when we went to check it out, the cost was beyond what my family could afford.
I started to care less in middle school because I didn’t feel like I was smart enough to be there. As I grew older, I began to head into the wrong path, and the neighborhood didn’t have many students around to provide a positive influence. Not many kids would graduate in our neighborhood, but luckily Mrs. Melinda and Mr.Jim came into our lives and helped so many kids like me become better students and created so many great opportunities such as c5, church camps and teaching us about God. Because of the Path Projects support I was able to graduate on time, I achieved all A’s and B’s my last semester in high school, graduated from c5 Georgia Foundation, and they even helped me fill out a college application and got accepted into that college.
Throughout the 6-7 years that they’ve been serving our community, the neighborhood has had more graduates, and it is calm and isn't a bad place to be now. I hope the Path Project grows more and will be able to help other kids who are struggling how I was when I was younger. None of this would have been possible without the support of the Path Project and giving us a little more confidence in ourselves. Anything is possible with the support of people who care about you." - Sophia