Building Family through a Common Mission

Your connection to a mission can be a powerful force that drives the direction of your life. Program alums, Mikequwan Jones and fiancée Kiara Corujo, grew up in Good Shepherd programs, fell in love with our mission, and eventually with each other while working for our organization.

When he was about 8 years old, Mikequwan was a rambunctious child in our afterschool program who liked to test limits. He spent three years in our program where he discovered male influencers who were critical to his development.

“I grew up without a father, so I looked at the male role models there as a role model for me and it was basically an escape from everyday life,” Mikequwan shared.

He later returned to Good Shepherd as a teen, landing a summer job as a program aid. After growing within the organization to become Senior Youth Development Specialist, Mike went on to his current position as Athletics Director and Assistant Program Director for Manhattan Youth, a social service agency.

As a 7-year-old from Puerto Rico, Kiara entered our afterschool program without knowing a word of English. Within two years, she was fluent without having to take language classes, an accomplishment she credits to the bonds she formed with other kids in the program. She initially met Mikequwan when they both worked at our Beacon program. However, sparks didn’t fly until he moved on to a different Good Shepherd site. Now they have an adorable 5-year-old daughter named Kylie and they’re engaged to be married.

“Good Shepherd builds positive citizens and it builds families. When you spend every day with co-workers and children they become your family,” said Kiara, who is the Office Manager at our Miccio Cornerstone program where Kylie is now a participant.