I’m happy to share that Sara Trombley and Young Life @ Arsenal Tech is a sponsor of the upcoming screening of the We are Family documentary that tells the story of the Arsenal Tech basketball team that won the state championship in 2014, and inspired a whole city in doing so.
I first met Sara and her husband, JC, around 2006, when they got involved at the Redeemer, the church in downtown Indianapolis I pastored. At the time, Sara was an energetic teacher at Arsenal Tech. A few years earlier, I had been a regional captain of a petition drive to complete the Capital Improvement of Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). Though I had gotten involved in political and public advocacy for IPS, and had started to coach baseball at Tech, my heart longed to see spiritual impact, not just physical and social. So I was excited when Josh Nottingham shared about starting an urban Young Life program at Arsenal Tech High School. Sara was excited too. She had lots of experience as with Young Life as a student and volunteer.
I served on the Young Life committee at Tech from its beginnings. After the original staff leader at Tech stepped down, Sara stepped in. She did a great job of growing the ministry, reaching out to the kids, and leading the volunteer staff. She is an incredible blend of love for Jesus, high energy and enthusiasm, courage, and very organized. A rare combination! My brother, Jed, served on staff at Young Life co-leading for a few years with Sara. Many of the young people from Tech and the Young Life program began to attend Redeemer.
I’m so pleased that the Young Life ministry at Arsenal Tech is continuing on. When I began to make plans to do an exclusive screening of We are Family, I reached out to Sara. Now, typically, Young Life is doing the fund-raising. I figured it would be a long shot to ask for support. But Sara immediately said that absolutely, she’d love to help and would check in and see if this would work out. It did. My heart is so humbled and thankful for Young Life at Tech’s support, and for my long friendship and partnership with Sara that continues to this day. Enjoy a few pictures of YL at Tech.
I caught up with Sara the other day to learn more about YL at Tech.
Jason: When did Young Life get started at Tech?
Sara: In 2006, a Young Life volunteer committee formed with dreams of reaching teenagers on the Near East Side of Indianapolis. In 2008, the first group of college volunteer leaders began direct ministry by forming relationships with students at Arsenal Tech High School. A decade plus later, three ministries—Arsenal Tech Young Life, Harshman Middle School Young Life, and Young Lives—have impacted over 4,800 students and sent 563 youth to Young Life camp. Five staff and over 70 volunteers have built relationships with teenagers with a mission to share the hope of Jesus. In 2020, we added Herron High School and The Oaks Academy ministries under our umbrella.
Jason: What does Young Life do?
Sara: Young Life’s mission is introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith.
Jason: How are you trying to positively impact Tech and Tech’s students?
Sara: Young Life is different. We aren’t just an event or activity for kids to attend. We don’t put on a program and expect kids to show up to our thing. We go where kids are. We walk through life together. We build real relationships thru shared experience. Young Life is about knowing kids and about kids being known. We have awesome tools that help us connect with students, but what we don’t want you to miss is that ultimately, Young Life is about relationships; between kids and their leaders, between kids and God. Through Jesus, Young Life leaders have offered hope to 10 years of teenagers. Lives have been transformed.
Jason: What excited you to sponsor the We are Family documentary’s exclusive screening?
Sara: We jumped at the chance to sponsor the documentary because we love Tech! When I think about the east-side of Indianapolis, a quote from Eugene Peterson comes to mind. “There is no place without the potential for unearthing holiness”. The east-side is one of those places. There is holiness here. We hope many people will get the chance to view this documentary and see a small piece of the holiness that we see in this community everyday!
I’m thankful for the little part I got to play in Young Life @ Tech, and for the huge impact it has had on that campus as it “unearths holiness” day in and day out.
Here’s a fun video I took from a Young Life camp. It think one or two of the kids on the swing with Jed, Donteau Gladney Jr. and Eric Meeks played on the Tech championship team.
Exclusive Screening of We Are Family
The date we originally set for the exclusive screening of the We are Family documentary was Saturday, June 13, as the Toby Theater, Newfields (IMA). Obviously, this is all in the air now in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’re hoping to be able to do it sometime this summer. We’ll see! Stay Tuned.