Urban Ministry

Emerald Youth Foundation is committed to ministering with Knoxville’s urban young people right where they live, go to school and play.

That’s why JustLead, our youth leadership program, is implemented through urban neighborhood churches known as the JustLead Network. This is a coalition of churches and faith-based organizations serving urban youth.

The JustLead Network provides:

  • Safe places for kids to be discipled, learn and have fun
  • Support for churches and youth leaders with training, mentoring and conferencing opportunities
  • Resources for current youth development programs, including the curriculum materials, tracking methods and best practices of Emerald Youth Foundation
  • Advocacy on behalf of urban youth and their families
  • New opportunities for youth development on age-level and neighborhood needs

The afterschool component for elementary and middle school students includes tutoring, homework help, health/fitness/nutrition instruction, field trips and service learning opportunities.

The students also use five computer learning labs – based at the churches – to improve their academic skills. Two online programs are utilized in the learning labs:

  • Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, which is used by 3 million students a year in school systems across the country to identify skill deficiencies. Click here to learn about the MAP assessment on Northwest Evaluation Association’s website.
  • Odyssey, which is aligned with MAP and focuses on the specific skill in which the child is deficient. Odyssey provides fun, interactive computer games that the kids can play.

High school youth engage with us via JustLead offerings such as ACT preparation, courses on financial management and interviewing skills/career options, and special out-of-town trips and activities.

Discipleship opportunities for all ages include mid-week Bible study, small groups, corporate worship, and inter-generational faith activities.

Emerald Youth provides a Bible curriculum specifically written to promote discussion between adults and youth about major Biblical themes. The curriculum is an original production of Emerald Youth Foundation.