RIPLEY • Grace - Cafe, Eatery, Lounge is more than a great place to eat, get a coffee, and enjoy time with friends. The new restaurant’s owners Rob Hodges and David Wilson, plan to invest their profits back into the community by providing outreach programs and services aimed at enriching the lives of young and old alike.

Many around Ripley already know the impact that Grace is having through its program Leadership is Servanthood, which takes teenagers and teaches them the values of hard work and the joys of helping others.  Starting next week, Grace will share a 7-part series on personal growth and becoming more successful in all areas of life with high school students.

The program, Essentials of Success by John Maxwell, will be offered at the restaurant every Monday night from Oct. 19 - Nov. 23. The one-hour course will begin at 6 p.m. each week and will feature a 10-minute video on the week’s subject. Community leaders then will share their expert accounts with the students.

“We want to do multiple programs that add value back to the community,” said Hodges.  “These types of programs are essential because they teach life principles. Leaders from all parts of the community are lending their expertise to the series.”

Hodges and Wilson say that 80 percent of the youngsters they encounter are from broken homes and lack fundamental core principles. Essentials of Success will focus on teaching those principles, including attitude, personal growth, relationships, character, adding value, and living intentionally.

“No matter where they go in life, people will need basic life skills to succeed,” said Wilson.

By providing this program, Grace hopes to fill a need no longer taught in the home or schools.

“We hope to offer more resources and help young people learn from their failures,” said Wilson.  “Sometimes, it is hard to break through to young people. Many just need a family structure. They need someone to get on to them. It changes their perspective.”

Hodges and Wilson say they are starting their enrichment programs with the youth because they are the community’s future leaders. They plan to expand their outreach to different levels and age groups.

“We want to be an outlet, and we want the community to be involved,” said Hodges. “We want to teach young and old to be leaders and to learn. Everything is love and action.”

To sign up for Essentials of Success, stop by Grace, visit the Grace or Leadership is Servanthood Facebook pages, or call Hodges at 662-317-9201.

Hodges concluded by saying, “We are to be Salt and Light. Salt to season our community by adding value to it. Light to be a beacon and light stand of hope, encouragement, and love for our community. How can we be effective representatives of God in our culture? We can go into our community and add value to the people, thereby leading events that help them to be more successful.”

Essentials of Success Weekly Schedule

Monday, Oct. 19: Attitude - The difference maker - guest speaker, Travis Caldwell

Monday, Oct. 26: Personal Growth - The pathway to your potential - guest speaker, Josh Behm

Monday, Nov. 2: Relationships - The essentials for success - guest speaker, Mrs Elliott

Monday, Nov. 9: Character - The foundation of a good life - guest speaker, Alex Wright

Monday, Nov. 16: Adding Value - The doorway to influencing others - guest speaker, Sean Akins

Monday, Nov. 23: Living Intentionally - The bridge to a better life - guest speaker, Joyce Graddy

Monday, Nov. 23: My most important relationship (optional) - guest speaker, Austin

Times will be Mondays 6-7 p.m. • Open to all 9th-12th graders

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