News

From Counseled to Counselor

by Office of Marketing | May 25, 2011
In 2004, former student Joel Jakubowski's life changed in a way he never imagined. He had just graduated from Teen Challenge, and entered VFCC as a Psychology Major. Because of the impact that Teen Challenge counseling had had on him, Joel knew that he, too, wanted to be a counselor someday.
From Counseled to CounselorIn 2004, former student Joel Jakubowski's life changed in a way he never imagined. He had just graduated from Teen Challenge, and entered VFCC as a Psychology Major. Because of the impact that Teen Challenge counseling had had on him, Joel knew that he, too, wanted to be a counselor someday.

Two and a half years later, in a season of needed refreshment, Joel accepted a summer internship opportunity at Lancaster Teen Challenge (www.lancastertc.com), the center he had left only a few years before. His internship merged into an Intake Director position, then into his current role as Operations/Program Director for the Referral and Community Development Center, based out of New Life Assembly of God in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

As director, Joel works as a referral source in the community for family members dealing with addicted loved ones, provides counseling services for brief intervention, and partners with churches, schools, families and legal systems to offer valuable resources. Even though Joel's work is in the greater Lancaster community, its impact is also felt statewide. The Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America recently chose Teen Challenge as their state project for this year. They will partner with the organization to raise money for the Stay Sharp program (www.staysharp.us), which sends Teen Challenge men into schools to teach drug awareness.

Although he left Valley Forge Christian College earlier than he expected, Joel will always be extremely grateful for the experiences he had while there. Inspired by Dr. Christel's poetry class, Joel published his collection of poetry, dandelion of judah, which is available online and in bookstores. He also co-led a men's group, which gave his fellow students the opportunity to minister at the Philadelphia Teen Challenge center every Tuesday night.

This past January Joel received his ministerial certification with the Assemblies of God, and this coming December he will complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in Behavioral Health/Addictions Studies from Alvernia University.

"When you give back to a ministry like Teen Challenge, it makes an invisible God pretty visible. In a tangible way I'm able to see the evidence of Christ and the evidence of God's fruit in men's and women's lives. It's addictive."