EaRTH'S ANGELS FOUNDER, KATHY BURRELLAt IHF Church, teen girls and young adult women encounter God through biblical teaching, worship, fellowship, missions, and ministry involvement. Our ministry provides several weekly programs that include live music, meaningful fellowship, and relevant teaching. Many of these programs present opportunities for students to creatively express their faith.
EARTH'S ANGELS MINISTRYAt IHF Church, teen girls and young adult women encounter God through biblical teaching, worship, fellowship, missions, and ministry involvement. Our ministry provides several weekly programs that include live music, meaningful fellowship, and relevant teaching. Many of these programs present opportunities for students to creatively express their faith.
Earth’s Angels Mission Statement:Earth’s Angels strives to create learning experiences designed to motivate teen girls and young adult women to build a life of purpose through a refreshed, Hope-filled heart with a renewed self-confidence and a deep desire for a daily relational walk with Jesus Christ.
Encouragement, Mentoring and Leadership for Today’s Teen Girl and Young Adult Woman
The Story, The Impact, The Hope
WHY DID EARTH’S ANGELS BEGIN?
Many teens and young women in the Houston region are personally impacted by some of society’s most challenging social issues – peer pressure, low self-esteem, absent dads, confused or overly-busy moms, emotional or physical abuse, single motherhood, divorce, troubled marriages, out-of-touch churches and lack of vision for their lives. Many young women feel orphaned and somewhat lost, they’re confused about what womanhood is all about, they don’t see a very bright future for themselves – and they don’t know where to look for role models or good advice.
More than a decade ago, Earth’s Angels founder and pastor’s wife Kathy Burrell noticed a disturbing trend – that many teen girls and young adult women faced with challenging life experiences had few places to turn for practical, real-world Christian mentoring and instruction. She felt called to do something to make an impact on these girls and young women. In 2002, with a small group of volunteers, Kathy coordinated the first Earth’s Angels Conference as an outreach ministry of Internal Hope Fellowship Church, where her husband, George E. Burrell Sr. serves as founding pastor. It began as a one-day event focused on fun, faith and fellowship, but has grown to be so much more. The Christian conference now involves multiple church denominations along with other organizations and participants from every ethnicity and walk of life. Last year’s event attracted nearly 200 participants.
Earth’s Angels equips young women with knowledge and valuable principles that prepare them to stand up to the daily challenges and pressures in their lives. The two-day event features interactive workshops, forums, praise and worship, networking, marketplace booths and mentoring/counseling. Typical conference topics include relationship building, peer pressure, choices, personal development, dating, managing finances and parenting skills. Separate sessions are scheduled for junior and senior high school girls as well as for young adult single and young adult married women.
From the biblical principles and examples they are presented, young women ages 11 to 36 learn how to make good decisions for their lives, how to face and overcome tough challenges, how to build lasting relationships and strong marriages, and how to prepare for higher education and careers. Beginning with a weekend conference, the learning continues for some participants with a year of mentoring by mature Christian women. Our goal, with the help the wonderful people who come alongside and partner with us, is to develop young women to be shining examples of dynamic 21st century womanhood – Earth’s Angels!
HOW DOES EARTH’S ANGELS HELP FUND YOUNG WOMEN’S FUTURES?
An empowered young woman is literate, educated, self-confident, has productive skills and has access to capital. Our annual event is dedicated to empower teen girls and young adult women as they grow intellectually, physically, spiritually, emotionally and socially. We also encourage them to continue their education. With the rising costs of higher education and an ever-increasing interest by young women in pursuing a college or technical degree, Earth’s Angels provides financial assistance for higher education through a competitive and need-based awarding process.
For the past four years, Earth’s Angels has provided several scholarships to graduating high school seniors and young adult women. We want to ensure the young women in the Houston region are enrolling in college at the same or higher rates than young women around the country.
THE IMPACT OF MENTORING
Young women make many decisions in their teen and early young adult years that dramatically affect their lives forever. Earth’s Angels offers these women mentoring, professional counseling/ coaching and educational opportunities that help them develop and mature. Many of the mentor volunteers have been where these young ladies are, and they seek to offer their experiences and God’s love to the participants. The mentors come from various backgrounds and professional careers such as counselors, teachers, entrepreneurs, women’s ministry leaders, attorneys, health professionals and homemakers, just to mention a few.
The conference, scholarships and mentoring make a real impact. Here’s just one story:
My name is Bianca and I am a single mom who works and attends college full-time. Before the age of 18, I lost both parents and was forced to become an adult earlier than most of my peers. Because no one in my family had ever completed college, my major goal in life was to do so. Times were getting hard and there was no way that I would be able to raise my son and go to school. I was hanging with the wrong crowd and made a lot of mistakes. Basically, I was on a road to destruction. In April 2008, I attended Earth’s Angels Conference. During the conference weekend, I was mentored by many women of God who shared their stories with me. Through the conversations, I gained so much knowledge about my purpose here on earth, to serve as one of Earth’s Angels. That weekend I made the best decision of my life – I gave my life to Christ.
I was doubly blessed by being selected to receive two scholarships totaling $6,000 to fund my college education. In 2008, I received a scholarship for $1,000 (right on time) and in 2009 I was the recipient of the “Rhoda Award” for $5,000 (thank you so much!). I graduated in May 2010 with an Associate of Science Degree (3.57 GPA) from Houston Community College. I am now an honor’s nursing student at Prairie View A&M School of Nursing. I graduated December 15, 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. By the grace of God, I am beginning my long-time desire of becoming a nurse. I get to do what I really enjoy – helping people. KEEP ME IN YOUR PRAYERS…God has been so faithful to me!
WHERE ARE EARTH’S ANGELS GREATEST NEEDS?
During the past decade, we have been blessed to have a variety of partners help underwrite the conference and help fund the educational scholarships – individuals, religious organizations and companies – and this community support brings encouragement and hope to the participants.
• The need for educational scholarships continues to grow, and the level of scholarships needs to rise to allow participants to afford the increasing cost of their education. Contributors can underwrite the existing scholarships, or create a new one named in honor or a friend or loved one. Since 2006, the conference has miraculously and successfully acquired needed funding to meet the needs to fund the vitally needed scholarships for education. Scholarship awards have increased from two $500 awards to at least four $1,500 scholarships and one premiere scholarship of $3,000 – and we would like to offer more.
• Because the tuition funds only a small portion of the conference fees, conference underwriters are crucial for keeping costs down for individual participants. A number of opportunities are available including dinner sponsorships, event program sponsors, gift bag sponsors and a variety of others.
• Even with the fee set at only $60, many young women cannot afford the cost; sponsors of individual participants allow many individuals to attend who might otherwise miss this valuable opportunity.
• As the year-round mentoring/discipleship program grows, the need for year-round support for this aspect of the program has grown as well. Mentors are in high demand, both during the conference and throughout the year.
• In-kind donations for fundraisers and for the conference itself are extremely helpful.
• Sponsors of personal development seminars and career forums would provide additional learning and support opportunities throughout the year.
THE VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF EARTH’S ANGELS
Earth’s Angels began with the vision of one pastor’s wife who was called to help young women before life’s challenges had beaten them down. For two years, the pastor of one small church funded the conference out of his personal funds because he believed in the heart’s desire of Executive Director Kathy Burrell to impact the lives of teen girls and young women. And Earth’s Angels has truly made an impact. The conference which began with an attendance of is growing annually, without the benefit of the strong marketing support normally afforded major conferences.
Earth’s Angels Conference has grown from a one-day event of classes and fellowship to now include interactive sessions for junior and senior high girls and young adult single women, and an intensive workshop session for young adult married women to specifically address the needs and concerns of today’s families.
Some of the plans and dreams for Earth’s Angels include:
• Offering a fully supported, year-round mentoring/discipleship program for more young women
• Increasing conference attendance from the greater Houston region
• Providing more individual conference attendance scholarships
• Creating more opportunities for career and personal development
• Attracting and training more year-round mentors
• Gaining visibility for Earth’s Angels to increase participation and financial support
We have seen first-hand the impact Earth’s Angels has on the lives of individuals and families. Individuals like Bianca D. and hundreds more.
Your voice, your mentoring, your time, your participation, your gracious financial gifts make a real difference.
Will you join us?