Michael and Katy (Beals) Hasty served in YOKE for a combined total of 9 years. Katy’s parents went to church with John and Helen Coatney in the early days of YOKE. She knew about YOKE as a middle school student, but did not get involved until YOKE visited the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) at UT to recruit. (Almost 50 years later, YOKE still recruits leaders at the BCM.)

While serving as a YOKE leader at Halls Middle, one of Katy’s greatest memories was spending time with Donnie and Claudia Brewton at their house during the team meeting each week. Katy said, “We wore them out staying as late as we could.” Katy also served as Team Leader at Gresham Middle. While serving with YOKE, Katy enjoyed the Rocker-thon fundraiser and going to camp. “I remember the first time we did the mud slide with our YOKE kids,” she said. “They didn’t want to get dirty at first, but we talked them into it, and they had a blast!”

Michael’s first exposure to YOKE was in college when the original YOKE house was being torn down. YOKE would need a trailer for storage space during construction, and Michael brought one of his dad’s trailers over for YOKE to use. “At some point after that I was approached to help with the board while Katy was the team leader at Maury Middle School,” remembered Michael.

He went on to serve on the Jefferson County Board of Directors and Executive Board in Knoxville. Michael always enjoyed camp and getting to see his students grow there. “One student in particular had a rough home life,” recalled Michael. “I was able to talk with him several times and that made a real impact on me.” He added, “to this day I find myself at home, church, etc., quoting a favorite YOKE saying, when in doubt leave it out!”

Michael and Katy have 2 children, Mattie (age 15) and Brooks (age 11). He is the Executive Director for the Great Smoky Mountains Expo Center. Katy is a stay-at-home mom that does affiliate marketing with NuSkin. They both gained valuable experience working in YOKE. “It opened my eyes to some of the different struggles that middle school kids deal with,” Michael said. For Katy, YOKE had a great impact on how she viewed the middle school years. “It prepared me to lead activities at church and helped me learn valuable leadership skills while helping me move out of my comfort zone.”

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