Rachelle Rawson – 10 Under 40 Winner

Youth for Christ Siouxland, Juvenile Justice Ministry Director; Co-Founder of Agape Community Services (Opening within 2-4 years) 

Volunteer Organizations: Celebrate Recovery at Sunnybrook Church; Jail Ministry; Character Building Workshops at Jackson-Rosencrans and Juvenile Detention; “You Matter Siouxland” Suicide Awareness; Thriving Families; “Teen Dating Violence” initiative through SafePlace 

What are you working on now? 

At Youth for Christ, we continue to expand services for children in Sioux City and the surrounding areas. My favorite aspect is the Advocacy Program which trains community volunteers to work as trauma-informed mentors for at-risk children. Connecting loving adults with children in need and seeing the relationships that are built is very rewarding. I also visit and provide services to youth at Juvenile Detention and the Eldora Boys State Training School. In addition, I am working with partners and a board of directors to create Agape Community Services, which will be built here in Sioux City. Agape’s faith-based format addresses the core issues of addiction.  

What is your vision for the future?

I believe many of the problematic issues facing Siouxland have their roots in addiction. Domestic violence, child abuse, poverty, and crime are often traced back to this affliction in our society. Developing Agape Community Services in Siouxland focuses my vision for how we may address this enormous problem as Jesus expects us to do. Agape tackles addiction with an innovative approach by expanding on evidence-based practices during the nine-to-twelve-month program. By providing resources to combat addiction, I believe we will make this a healthier, more productive place to live and raise a family. We all succeed when we value those who struggle most. 

What would you like to see happen in Siouxland? 

There are so many opportunities in Siouxland for people to contribute through volunteering. It just takes some initiative, determination, and creativity to find your niche if you are interested in helping others. Siouxland needs to continue to encourage the excitement felt by people under the age of 40. This in turn will ignite the interest in people of all ages. When members of our neighborhoods show creativity, it needs to be rewarded and nurtured. By sharing our vision for the community, we build interest among everyone to buy into their future. That, in turn, entices people to stay in this area. If everyone chose even one path towards bettering our society, the quality of life for all in Siouxland would increase tremendously.

What are you doing to make that happen?

I have always wanted to be a difference-maker in the lives of other people. When opportunities to do this have presented themselves to me, I try and not just take advantage of them, but look beyond to the next steppingstone. Creating these opportunities for others to make a difference in the lives of their fellow citizens is at the heart of what I believe God has chosen for me. 

How can people help you make that happen?

People can help by choosing to be involved and giving back to Siouxland. For those who find in their heart the desire to heal the damage done to lives by addiction, consider joining the Agape Community Services initiative. For more information or ways you can help, you may email agapecommunityservices.ia@gmail.com. Yes, be involved in the lives of your own family first, but then step beyond and extend that love and caring to the life of our community. Choose to love the neighbor you don’t even know and may never meet. But believe that in choosing that path, you are fulfilling your purpose.  

What quote or saying inspires you?     Love thy neighbor as thyself. 

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