Manessa Medina (Albuquerque 2015) had just graduated from nursing school and was working with a Catholic nonprofit when she applied to the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (DVULI). “My boss at the time had nominated me for the program and really encouraged me to go for it,” Medina recalled. “And coming from him, the guy who analyses everything, I knew I needed to take this opportunity to grow in leadership and as a person.”
Throughout the process, Medina says Ron Carter’s Bible studies really stuck with her, and helped her determine what type of leader she should be and what kind of ministry she should be in. “It really brought clarity to my life,” Medina said. But the most impactful takeaway from her 15-month journey was the value of empowerment.
“Every aspect of the Core Values really hit home for me, but learning about empowering others to step up and be leaders was a huge thing for me,” said Medina. “I have the ability to empower people wherever I’m at.” Splitting her time between her career as a full-time nurse and her family, she credits her ability to stay in ministry because of those she has helped to empower.
Looking back on her time as a participant in DVULI, Medina believes that anyone considering applying for the program should just go for it. “You definitely need to go in with an open mind and open heart to see how God will lead you,” Medina advises. “Sometimes we go in with certain expectations, but God has other ideas. [DVULI has] been beneficial to my life and has helped me grow so much in ways I was never going to [on my own].”