Something to live for.

I was talking with a young person who began a mentorship roughly 2 months ago and I asked them a question. I said, “Since having a mentor, how has the way you think about your life or yourself improved?” Their answer was everything. In an instant, I got a glimpse of God transforming this young person’s life. One relationship for a few hours each month over a short period of time changed everything. It’s what God does through you praying, you giving to make the relationship possible, and you making time to participate in sharing God’s story of hope in your life.
 
This young person said, “Before, I saw us as slaves to God with no relationship just living life with nothing really to live for, but now I see that I do have something to live for and it’s God!” Thank you for your participation in this young person’s story.
 
WENDY COLLINS,  71Five Mentors Coordinator  
541.441.2495 | wendy@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Imagine you couldn’t read or write at 21 . . .

Can you imagine being 21 years old trying to figure out the adult world and not able to read or write? We are working with a young man in this situation right now. He has a learning disability but he’s smart. Another young man has genius-level intelligence but is trapped in severe Attention Deficit Disorder. These guys have no opportunity to take care of themselves and be successful outside of crime. They’ve been able to slip through the system but there’s no longer a positive path forward. This is where 71Five is built to step in. These young men and others are being taught by trusted staff and volunteers at a pace or in a method they can handle. When they first come, they call themselves stupid or worthless but in time we see them learn, we see their confidence grow, and we see smiles and pride in their eyes.
 
Make no mistake, we know the greatest good we can do is to introduce struggling kids to the hope found in Jesus, but there’s so much more ‘good’ that happens in the lives of kids who connect with 71Five. Thank you! You provide the good… and the greatest good!!
 
BUD AMUNDSEN,  71Five Executive Director  
541.301.0897 | bud@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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10 Words

Jayden graduated from our 71Five VoTech training program about a month ago. I knew Jayden for a little over a year before he came to Votech and I have only heard him say about 10 words since I’ve known him. To say the least, he was a shy kid as he entered VoTech. Like many of our students, he was unsure about what he wanted to do with his life. Jayden lacked direction and purpose. However, while taking our training classes, he has grown tremendously in his technical and personal skills. He continues to come to our classes, even after graduating, to learn more and is even helping us lead the other students during our project times. Through God’s grace, instructor’s encouragement, and generous donors like you, Jayden has found a new confidence in himself and has learned how to step out of his comfort zone.
 
Thank you for being an important part of Jayden’s journey of growth through your prayers, time, and financial support.
 
LARRY LICATO,  71Five VoTech Coordinator – Medford 
541.890.1819 | larry@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Pursuing What’s Right.

Have you ever lied about something and had to come clean? It’s hard… not only to own up to your actions, but to admit your actions to your boss, teacher, or another leader in your life. Liam, a 13 year-old student, had to own up to something that he was encouraged to lie about by his friends. He had only been coming to 71Five Campus in Eagle Point for a couple of weeks, and one Friday at the beginning of the night Liam came up to me and said, “I love 71Five Campus a lot, and I love coming here, but before the night starts I need to tell you that I lied about something.” He proceeded to tell me the story, and he owned up to his actions. I didn’t previously know about it, nor did anyone else confront him about it. He made the decision to talk to me all on his own, and displayed maturity beyond his years. I thank God that 71Five is a place that, even in a short amount of time, encourages young people to pursue the right thing, even when it’s hard.
 
Thank you for being a part of 71Five Campus in Eagle Point, and providing a safe space for people like Liam to get closer to Jesus.
 
PETER KUHL,  71Five Campus Coordinator – Eagle Point 
541.630.0648 | peter@71Five.org
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Intrigued with everything . . .

Kayden and Braxton regularly attend our 71Five City – Liberty Park elementary clubs. These two define what it means to be a boy. They are always spontaneous, full of laughter, and intrigued with just about everything under the sun. During a recent lesson about the crucifixion, they learned about what happened to Jesus before he went to the cross… And for a moment it was like Christ got a hold of these boys and He told them, “I did all this for you!” They listened.
 
Only the Lord knows where the seeds landed. I believe that Christ spoke to these boys, and they heard Him loud and clear. Because of you, we are planting seeds in the hearts of young people and providing hope throughout the Rogue Valley. Thank you!
 
ISAIAH ABNEY,  71Five City – Liberty Park Intern  
(706) 748-1999 | isaiah@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Happy Retirement Matt Sweeney

Well Done Matt Sweeney – 27 Years!! Matt has served the ministry whole-heartily for 27 years at Youth 71Five Ministries. The first 5 years he poured into the lives of kids in the detention center as a volunteer while operating his own business. When God called him into full-time ministry he sold his glass business and stepped in with 110% (probably more than that). Matt has poured his heart & life into countless young people, staff, donors and the ministry and he has never held back. When he and Jan were married, she stepped in and has ministered alongside him WITH her full support. For those of you that don’t know – it was through Matt’s vision and passion for kids in West Medford that God blessed us with a youth center in West Medford.
 
We have all been touched by Matt and his ministry. He has served faithfully and well! Well Done Matt! Well Done Mr. Sweeney! You are loved and will be greatly missed! #71Five
 
DEANNA JONES,  71Five Administrative Director 
(541) 779-3275 | deanna@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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How come you didn’t get mad and start cussing?


Every month, all the city and campus groups come together for something fun. Last month, we organized a paint-balling outing. As we were all set to leave the Grants Pass city building, in our trusty 12-passenger van, we hit a snag—a big one. Our gas line had been cut, and the gas? Completely siphoned out. There we were, ready for an adventure, yet momentarily stranded. During this challenging situation, one of the youth asked me, “How come you didn’t get mad and start cussing?” I explained, “Throwing a fit wouldn’t move us an inch closer to our destination!” It was a test of resilience, a lesson in overcoming obstacles without losing our cool. Despite feeling a storm of emotions inside, especially considering the low blow of stealing from a van meant to carry kids, many of whom come from challenging backgrounds, the situation called for calm leadership. And this, my friends, is where the testing of our faith shines the brightest.
 
Fortunately, we have a Father in heaven who loves his children and has given us his Holy Spirit. In times of trials and testing, we can rely on His strength to demonstrate positive role modeling to the kids we serve. At 71Five, where I pour my heart into making a difference, we strive to be that beacon of hope, love, and unwavering support for these young people. This incident, rather than breaking us, reinforced the values we stand for. Thank you for providing the the hope found in Jesus to the youth at 71Five who are facing difficult challenges and obstacles in this life.
 
CHRIS WILLIS,  71Five City – Grants Pass Coordinator  
(541) 941-3488 | chris@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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We all have a story.

After sending our prayer request email for the 71Five Parents Prayer team, I was delighted to receive a call from Melva a few hours later. She shared with me that: “The Lord is stirring my heart as I pray for these young parents. I was eighteen when I became a young mother in 1961. When you are that young, the brain is not fully developed. I felt so poorly equipped at eighteen to manage a home and take care of children. I know what it’s like to be a young parent and grieve for what each one has to walk through. If I can bless these young mothers and help equip them by supporting 71Five Parents; then I want to do it. I was so busy all my life. Now at 81 years, when I look back at what I went through, I see that the Lord was there with me. “
 
Can you see the Lord working through Melva to transform and equip young parents? The Lord has called all believers to make disciples. Thank you for giving hope, praying for and equipping each one of our young parents. Jesus said in the Bible, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
 
BREANNA STOUTENBURGH,  71Five Parents Coordinator  
541.941-7697 | breanna@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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Don’t have a Bible?

One of the most exciting things working in the ministry here at 71Five is when I see a kid get excited about the bible. A week ago miss Sophia and I had a conversation about sin and how do we know what is sin and what’s not. I said to her, “Well, you can find all those answers in your Bible.” She looked at me funny and said, “But Will, I don’t have a Bible.” I had thought some time back that her mom had bought a Bible for her. It looks like I was wrong. The next day through the ministry we were able to gift her one with her name embossed on it. The leaders at 71Five Campus in Shady Cove wrote a special message and signed it for her. Ryann, 71Five Intern, presented her with the new Bible. She was so excited she ran through the Youth Center giving out hugs to all the leaders to thank them for this special gift. And then we received this text message from her mom: “Walked in to say good night to Sophia the other night and she was reading her Bible. My heart melted. 🤍 Thank you.”
 
Thank you for providing this young person with the gift of hope. Your financial support and prayers are reaching the lives of so many people like Sophia and her mom.
 
WILL ARIAS,  71Five Campus Coordinator – Shady Cove
541.841.6400 | will@71Five.org
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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“I apologize…”

Connor encountered a pivotal moment at 71Five City in West Medford. Despite facing challenges as a student, he was gently encouraged to take some time to reflect on his actions. This was a major growth moment for Connor through this difficult time with patience and understanding. “I apologize…” Surprisingly, he expressed a sincere desire to apologize. This moment held profound significance, where positive reinforcement is one of the many things students lack coming in the door. It represented more than just an apology—it symbolized personal growth and the profound influence of caring adults.
 
Join us as we celebrate Connor. This action signified a turning point in his spiritual growth, demonstrating his readiness to take responsibility and strive for improvement. It is because of your generosity as 71Five’s financial partners, staff and volunteers, that we see a powerful reminder of the transformative potential of guidance and support in young lives.
 
TROY ELLIS,  71Five City Coordinator – West Medford
541.538.0207 | troy@71Five.org
 
“Lord God, you are my hope. I have trusted you since I was young.” Psalm 71:5 ICB

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