How A Game Of Hoops Changed A Young Boy’s Life

From an interview with Dylan White.

When I was 6 years old, I would go with my brother to play basketball on an outside court across from the North Charleston Dream Center. One day Pastor Sam came over, played some basketball with us, and invited us over to the church.

I went with my brother and my mom. The people were nice at the church. And I felt safe there.

In Kidscoast, I met Mr. Derek and Miss Amy, who I still see all the time at the church.

After that first invite, I came every week that I could. I walked to church by myself sometimes because my mom worked a lot. Miss Amy would often drive me home. I never minded going by myself…I liked to run everywhere, not walk.

When I was 9, I got into the e3 mentoring program that matches students with community mentors. Ray McGuirk has been my mentor since the beginning and all through high school…and we’re still close. We did everything together- baseball games, fairs, weekends away, barbecues, football games, holidays. He says I’m his “second son.” He will continue to be a part of my life.

I spent a lot of time at the Dream Center through middle and high school. There was even this student internship called 12. I wasn’t officially part of it the first year, but I just came anyway. The internship included Bible study and serving. We’d serve at the food bank, help set up the clinic and lunches, organize the clothes donations, help with Kids Camp, go serve at shelters—whatever the community needed. We’d even help people move, and do yard work. 

So many people have been there for me along the way: now I want to do that for others. I serve in Kidscoast and am a Custom middle school leader for boys—because kids need someone to talk to besides their parents. So I’m like a big brother to them. We always need more Custom leaders at the Dream Center to help local kids…and let them know someone cares about them.

I graduated from Military Magnet Academy and am just finishing up at Trident Tech where I had a full scholarship to study Aeronautical Technology. I want to work for Boeing, doing aircraft assembly. But I also want to go into ministry. So this fall, I’m starting at SEU Seacoast for ministry leadership. My plan is to build airplanes during the week and do ministry on weekends.

This past February, I made a big decision to get baptized. It was the right time. And I had so many of the people I care about there, like Mr. Derek, my first Kidscoast teacher…my mentor…Ray, and my pastors…and my friends, all there celebrating what God’s done in my life. 

What about you? You can make a difference in the lives of youth by serving as a mentor. To learn more about the program, mentor orientations are being held on July 22, and July 29.