In late October 2011, a group of 12 high school students and eight adults from La Cañada Presbyterian Church took a week-long trip to Tutwiler, Miss. to build a home for the local Habitat for Humanity branch. During our seven days in Mississippi, we framed a house from the foundation up, and spent a portion of each day mentoring the local kids at the community center.
Tutwiler is one of the poorest locations in the U.S., and deals with extreme poverty and high unemployment. The community center acts as the cornerstone of the town. The after-school program offers the kids a place to get a healthy snack, a safe place to play, participate in gym, computer classes and a wonderful music program that is based on the blues music that fills the South.
Two musicians travel to Tutwiler twice a week to teach the kids guitar, drums and bass. During our time in Tutwiler I was able to experience first-hand how important this program is to the kids of the community center. The program offers them a chance to use their minds, and to feel accomplished and proud.