Just Do Good


(left to right) Ethan Olsen, Ethan Ohler, Marianna McCabe, and Josh Morton working at College Bridge Academy.

Aaron Wilson

Compton, California is situated in the center of Los Angeles County and possesses a reputation as one of the most dangerous cities in America.

According to Neighborhood Scout, a website collecting data and information on different neighborhoods, a person’s chances of being a victim of violent crime in Compton are 1 in 84, compared to the average of 1 in every 223 in the state of California. While Compton may retain its dangerous reputation, it is also home to an organization dedicated to serving their neighbors and the city of Compton.

The Compton Initiative, a small non-profit charity organization founded in 2006, has made an impact in the city by painting homes, schools, and churches in the community and partnering with local volunteer organizations. Their slogan is “Just do good,” and they can be recognized by their yellow t-shirts .

On Saturday, Jan. 25, 20 students from TMU went down to Compton to volunteer with the Initiative. The group was led by Ethan Meng, a junior at TMU who had connected with the Compton Initiative when leading an outreach group in Compton last October.

“They are doing big stuff for the community there, and I thought it was a rad opportunity to take a group to help serve and evangelize.” Meng said. “It was awesome to take what I had learned at TLC and put it into practice the very next weekend—to live for the gospel.”

The first location for one of the teams was College Bridge Academy (CBA), a charter high school partnered with SHIELDS for Families that provides core requirements and on-site mental health services to kids who have been expelled or dropped out of high school.

“It’s a school unlike any public school around,” said Kimberly Brown, an employee of the school. “We try to eliminate the barriers that (students) have.”

The partnership with CBA began when SHIELDS for Families contacted Jeudy Mom, who has served as the director of the Initiative since 2014. SHIELDS For Families was initially founded to serve the special needs of children exposed to drugs and their families, and are now known for providing many programs for Los Angeles’ most challenged communities.

This type of partnering is typical for the Compton Initiative.

“The Compton Initiative is all about partnerships,” said Mom.

The organization partners with other groups and individual volunteers who come to help beautify the area every time there is a work day, with groups ranging from 20 to 100 volunteers.

As well as serving the community’s physical needs, there were plenty of opportunities for TMU students to share the gospel. The Compton Initiative was initially started by Mom’s church, and many unbelievers have joined since then, offering more opportunities to witness to people within the community.

“It’s a great opportunity to get away from the school,” Ethan Ohler, a senior from Slight, said. “But at the same time immediately go out and take what we learned during Truth and Life and just apply it, and just spend time rubbing shoulders with the community and share the gospel.”

You can find out more about the Compton Initiative, and how to help at justdogood.org