Ferry Street’s ‘Lions’ roar
Published 4:32 am Wednesday, April 5, 2006
By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The Young Lions pack the computer room of the Ferry Street School Community Resource Center in Niles once a week. And, Tuesday was no different even though most of the young men in the group were on spring break.
Director of the resource center, Lisa Busby, called Young Lions a “right of passage program.”
The group of around 12 young men ages 10 to 18 gather weekly with group leader Ernest Fowler, though this week he was in Boston and missed the meeting.
Instead, guest speaker Emmanuel Woods was at the resource center. Woods was born in Monrovia, Liberia and was witness to the country's civil war, which also claimed the life of his father. Eventually, Woods said he came to the U.S. from Africa in 1998, as a United Nations refugee and was reunited with his mother after more than eight years.
Since coming to America, Woods has earned a Bachelors of Theology from Oakwood College in Alabama, a Masters of Divinity from Andrews University and has also served as a reserve chaplain in the U.S. Army.
To keep the group sharp, Busby said Fowler sometimes has the students working out of a lesson manual. But, Busby said Young Lions begins with a lot of discussions on life and establishing new friendships.
Dennis Patrick has been trying to follow through on the lessons learned in Young Lions.
The 17-year-old is a student at the Fresh Start program at the Michiana Christian Assembly and has also taken on the role of youth minister at New Vision Apostolic Faith Assembly.
Busby said Young Lions is planning community service projects and field trips to Chicago and Indianapolis for the spring. Plus, the group hopes to finish the summer up with a trip to Atlanta.
Busby said the “cultural enhancement” field trips would take the Young Lions to some of the museums and universities located in the cities.