Tonya and Alonzo Alford were the parents of four kids when they came to City Impact over 16 years ago. Their son, Isaiah, was just six months old. The Alford kids grew up at City Impact, coming to Bible Club weekly and becoming involved in various leadership teams.
Isaiah was a talented athlete from an early age. Strong and quick, he was accustomed to winning at sports, but his fierce competitive streak soon became a problem that both his parents recognized. By sixth grade, Isaiah was an accomplished wrestler, but his unsportsmanlike conduct was getting out of hand.
“When he lost, he didn’t want to shake hands. He would shove people away. He was a sore loser,” says Tonya.
So, Tonya and Alonzo pulled their son out of wrestling and encouraged him to dive into City Impact’s youth programs. Over the next two years, Isaiah was immersed in City Impact. He came to Bible Club regularly, attended Kids Across America camp, and was matched with a mentor. He formed a strong relationship with his Bible Club teacher, Sean, who helped Isaiah develop leadership skills. Over time, Isaiah began to see himself as a leader and to recognize the importance of setting a good and mature example for his peers.
“City Impact made a huge difference in Isaiah, both mentally and spiritually,” says Alonzo.
By 8th grade, Isaiah’s time at City Impact had helped transform his attitude which set him up for pivotal leadership growth in high school. He approached competition with a focus on developing skills rather than merely winning. He and Alonzo would regularly spend hours working on his strength and technique. Isaiah’s talent and drive were as strong as ever, but now he was truly able to lead his team. Throughout the busyness of high school wrestling, Isaiah stayed close to his City Impact friends. They supported one another, holding each other accountable and encouraging good choices.
In 2018, Isaiah was 44-0 at Lincoln High, earning him the State Title. In November, Isaiah signed a letter of intent for his scholarship to the University of Nebraska Lincoln to join their 2019-2020 wrestling team.
We are so proud of Isaiah! His journey is just beginning as he heads off to college next year. Developing leaders is at the center of City Impact’s mission, and Isaiah is a shining example of wholistic development at work.