With nearly 240 volunteers serving in 30 middle schools, the YOKE community is full of people with all sorts of talents and experiences. It’s always exciting when a YOKE Folk can use their particular skills or experience to meet a specific need with the students YOKE serves. Sarah Gregory, a former YOKE kid and YOKE Folk who is serving in YOKE’s Summer Adventures program this year, is a great example of this.

Allan, a deaf student at Bearden Middle School, is participating in YOKE’s Summer Adventures program for the first time. Sarah, who recently graduated from Maryville College, has been helping to interpret for Allan on each of YOKE’s outdoor trips.

“I’m so glad to be involved with YOKE again, and it’s been really cool to be able to use this specific skill at Summer Adventures,” said Sarah. “Allan is such a cool kid, and he’s made it really easy and fun.”

Sarah was born in the Czech Republic, where her parents served as missionaries. Middle school was tough for her, though, as her family transitioned back to the US for a while. During her 7th grade year at Northwest Middle, Sarah got involved with YOKE, where she found a community of friends that made the transition easier. There she also met a deaf student, so to communicate, Sarah began to learn sign language. They quickly became best friends.

When Sarah returned to the US for college, she knew that she wanted to pursue a degree in Interpreting and Deaf Studies and she knew that she wanted to serve with YOKE. During her time at Maryville College, she served at Carpenters Middle School. Though the stress of her senior year schedule pulled her away for a time, she has enjoyed being involved with YOKE again this summer.

“At first I was a little nervous when I was asked to interpret at Summer Adventures,” Sarah admits. “But I felt like God was telling me that I needed to do this, and I have been able to see the fruit of that decision as I watch Allan having a great time on these trips.”

YOKE is looking for a diverse team of volunteers with a variety of skills and experiences to serve every student in our middle schools. If you are interested in using your skills and talents to invest in the lives of middle school students, contact program director Eli Cockrum: eli@yokeyouth.com, or fill out our online application, and someone will get in touch with you soon.