Photo from sohm.org.
By Blake Whitmer
Star of Hope Ministries serves the people of Paterson, NJ with several church partership initiatives, including providing school backpacks to children in need and collecting and distributing food. Now, as a part of its Star Tec Institute, the parachurch ministry is offering a wide variety of educational courses for the people of Paterson, such as courses on finding a job, becoming an entrepreneur, obtaining financial literacy, and more.
In the words of T. Jon Sinclair, the new Program Director for Star of Hope Ministries: “I believe that one of the most significant ways that we as a society can combat poverty is through quality education.”
To celebrate this initiative, there was a massive kickoff on April 20, 2022. It was a night of worship, networking, and vision.
This initiative will both bring back old courses and feature new courses. One such new course is the Star Tec Entrepreneur Academy, a “Biblically based business training course that serves aspiring entrepreneurs and start-up business owners.” There will also be a new course on financial literacy.
As for returning courses, the Star Tec Institute will relaunch its Jobs for Life class. Jobs for Life is a development program with the goal to help under- and unemployed people find meaningful work. This involves teaching some basic skills, such as how to make a resume and how to search for jobs. However, Jobs for Life (JFL) goes beyond merely teaching skills. It also addresses the development of character, affirming the God-given value of its students, and integrating its students into a support network. JFL believes that God has called us to love our neighbors through work. “By helping people not only find and keep meaningful work but to also thrive in their work, we can help restore work back to God’s original design.”
Through the Star Tec Institute, Jobs for Life will provide a holistic approach to education, helping underemployed people find jobs, cultivate virtue, become self-sufficient, and integrate into the larger Paterson community. To bring about lasting change, Sinclair also believes in a holistic approach to education. When explaining his own mission and calling, he said: “I have to stay with people that I have developed redemptive relationships with for the long haul. And if I do that, with God’s help, and with His guidance and His direction, I believe the sky is the limit. And I believe that God will welcome these people into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Pastor Matt Anderson, the executive director of SOHM, said as such:
“As you engage in our city, you will find that the entrepreneurial spirit remains strong. Today, there are people in the Paterson community that possess a stirring in their heart. If you can stop and have a conversation with the neighbors from our community, the desire to use their gifts and talents and build a better community runs deep. Yet, while the desire and drive exist, there are many who lack the connections or necessary tools. Through STAR TEC’s Entrepreneurial Academy, local business professionals are stepping in to change this narrative.”
You can also be a part of the Star Tec initiative by donations or through prayer. Star of Hope asks for prayer that there will be the right number of students (about 12-15 per class), godly instructors that can cultivate a nurturing environment, and enough volunteer mentors/coaches. The Jobs for Life class’s first session is on July 5 and will feature 16 classes over 8 weeks. If you want to participate in the Paterson Jobs for Life class or otherwise want more information, contact Jon at email@example.com or (973) 742-1222.