Youth Draw Closer To God Through B-CU EGG Program

For the sixth year, Bethune Cookman University has hosted the Exploring Gifts and Graces (EGG) Summer Adventure and Theology and Leadership program powered by the Youth Theology Institute. The summer youth program for current high school juniors and seniors occurred July12th through 23rd, 2021 with students from across several states to include: North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, and Florida.

The EGG program is funded by a $600,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., with the goal to further educate students about God. During the program, students were encouraged to express themselves using their individual gifts. Those students began their participation with a Sunday evening orientation, led by Arts and Worship Coordinator and School of Performing Arts & Mass Communications Professor Carla Lester. Greetings and prayer were given by the director of the School of Religion Rev. Dr. Randolph Bracy, Jr.

Virtual Program For Youth

In preparation for the virtual program, Dr. Deborah Henson-Governor, director of the program, highlighted the two-week schedule of fun and engaging activities. Dr. Henson-Governor facilitated a session related to discovering spiritual gifts. She shared, “In the eyes of God individual gifts are given to promote faith and community.”

“Because the program is virtual again this year, students have had the opportunity to get an early college experience with the use of technology to improve their social skills and work together to build a better and stronger social foundation,” Dr. Henson-Governor added.

Dr. Alice Wood, former director of the EGG Program now serves as the Principal Investigator for this virtual summer program and conducted a session on sacred space and emphasizing the importance of spending time with God.

Christina Arnold, serves as the EGG project coordinator and gave reflections on the virtual summer initiative. “The program allows its leaders, staff, and students to express their love for Christ in their own personal unique way.”

Student ambassadors included: Mariah Brown, Pfalin Burton, Kiara Darden, Tyra Larkin, and Christopher Spencer. Former ambassadors who served as staff were Shanquell Duncombe, with ambassadors representing the School of Religion: Ezekiel Johnson, attending Emory Chandler School of Theology, and Kendra Jacobs.

The student participants were given the assignment to create a special worship experience video to be presented on the final day the virtual camp. EGG student ambassadors, which is led by Training Project Coordinator and Assistant Director of Career Service, Junell McCall, shared their experience participating in this year’s virtual summer program with an introduction of gamification.

Kendra Jacobs, a recent graduate attending Howard University and third-year ambassador stated, “the program was different from last year, but it didn’t take away from the ability for the ambassadors and students to connect.”

Youth And B-CUs Egg Program

Chris Spencer said, “I enjoyed the bond that was gained between the ambassadors and the growth that was seen with the participants which was a true display of the theme, “Hope in Transition”.

Ambassadors shared as they engaged with the participants that the lessons were amazing. One participant stated, I loved the EGG program in general and the virtual experience was excellent. There was a personal touch which allowed students to connect and I appreciated the lessons taught by the Bible, and Theology, instructor Dr. Montez Kaufman.

Pfalin Burton, a first-year ambassador described his experience as enjoyable. “I enjoyed the experience especially as a networker. It was a pleasure to visit the participants in their various places,” he added. “I enjoyed helping to mold the generation under us and to be able to give back.”

Jada Foote from Georgia was a participant of the virtual EGG program. “I appreciated the ambassadors for helping me on my journey to grow closer to God.”

There were so many great moments shared during the two weeks of the program. Several of the participants will be attending the fall retreat entitled, “On Eagles Wings.”

For more information, please contact Dr. Deborah Henson Governor at 386-481-2772 or governord@cookman.edu