Wednesday, August 31, 2011
As a student at Southern Adventist College, Alexandrea Wilson imagined a brighter future for Chattanooga families and youth; she has since launched the Mt. Ephraim Center nonprofit to make it happen.
“If we can meet the needs of families, then maybe youth won’t join gangs,” said the young Collegedale resident. “The time is now. We have had more shootings than ever before in Chattanooga.”
Through the center, Wilson hosts seminars at area churches, schools, YMCAs and city halls. She said the center offers assistance with family life and child development, practical life workshops, Systematic Training for Effective Parenting, community service opportunities, speaking engagements and certified baby sitters.
“I’m really passionate about families,” said Wilson. “Mt. Ephraim Center focuses on age groups from early childhood through teenagers. We have seminars on practical life skills, conflict resolution, learning time management, remaining sexually pure, budgeting, handling singlehood, importance of self-care, identifying your emotions, abusive relationships and résumé writing.”
Wilson said the center is known for its baby sitters because they are college students with STEP parenting training.
“As we expand, we want to be a one-stop shop for families, where you can get everything you need from our center,” said Wilson. “I aim to encourage people to become the best they can be.”
Wilson said she grew up in church and participated in YMCA family activities growing up.
“Family is a huge thing for me,” said Wilson. “If you want society to become better, then you have to start in the home.”
Wilson said her favorite Bible verse is Timothy 4:12 that reads, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
“People at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce Ooltewah-Collegedale Council have been really supportive,” said Wilson. “Because of people like that I realize this is a mission for Chattanooga.”