Charlotte Self’s career leading young people into a closer relationship with Christ goes back to her teens, but when she took the role as head of youth ministry at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Little Rock, it was a noteworthy step. Self grew up in Good Counsel and being able to serve the youth of her home parish is particularly meaningful.
“I had been a teacher for PRE for a couple of years when I found out our previous youth director and his wife were leaving,” she said. “I love working with kids, I always have. I had just gotten involved volunteering for the youth group when the couple announced they were leaving. I just kind of fell into place.”
Self, 29, said the pandemic has been a big challenge in leading the group, as many kids who stayed home out of health reasons have been slow to return. She’s hopeful that in time the numbers will come back up. At the same time, she gives thanks for the kids she does get to shepherd.
“We’re really trying to get kids to understand what youth ministry is, that it's not some boring lecture you sit through,” she said. “We really try to bring their faith to life. We’re a real multi-cultural parish, and it’s really great for kids to learn about all the different cultures as a way to help them find their own path to grow in their faith.
“The thing I always try to stress with them is the Church is a community. No matter where they go or where they are, they will always have that community of the Church to fall back on and lean on. The Church is always there to help them get through life.”
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