“I have a passion to reach youth who come from broken homes and are making disastrous decisions, I feel I can relate given my upbringing. I grew up in Panorama City, (Los Angeles Area) where I faced many challenges. I know what its like to come from a broken home, a single- parent household, have identity issues, to face abuse, to be involved with gangs, and to be a teen who was addicted to drugs at the age of 12. That’s the reality I faced as a young person. It was a dark season in life, but through God’s grace and the investment that others made in my life I was able to overcome it and now want to pour back into the lives of other ‘Bany’s’ in my community.
By the age of 20 years old I had overdosed on drugs twice, had been shot at, and came to the point of being a homeless teen. I was at a breaking point in life where I desperately needed hope. I remember calling out to God and asking for him to take control of my life. At that point He began to work on my heart, and placed people in my life who began to pour life into me. It was then that I accepted Christ and my life began to completely transform. Shortly after I got connected to a local church and started working with the youth ministry.
I’ve been involved in youth ministry for many years now, but it wasn’t until this past year that God has really defined the passion that I have for reaching youth. As I’ve journeyed with the 90 Degrees Cohort this past year, it has truly challenged me to map out my vision and create a structured plan to launch a teen center focused on mentoring at-risk youth. While the planning is still underway to make that a reality, with the help of UYWI I’m already getting involved with local schools in the San Fernando Valley and working on getting on campuses to begin to connect with young girls in the hopes of beginning a mentorship relationship with them. UYWI has helped me not only clarify my vision, they’ve helped me become a healthier, more effective leader. At times, youth ministry can be overwhelming, but I’m thankful for UYWI who exists to power leaders like me so that we continue to fight for youth who desperately need hope in their lives.”
Bany Del Cid
San Fernando, CA