“Community” is a core value of YOKE and one of the first words that Bridget Beam used to describe the ministry. Scripture teaches that we are created in the image of God and so we, too, were created for community. “Even God enjoyed community,” she explained. “And if God did, then we should, too.”

Bridget did not grow up in a Christian home, and so her time as a YOKE Kid at Carter Middle had a major impact on her faith journey and she made a decision to follow Jesus at age 18. It wasn’t too long after that that she appeared on the front porch of the YOKE House asking how she could get involved. Back then, the applications were still on paper so she asked if she could sit down and fill out the form that very moment. Bridget would serve as a YOKE Folk and team leader for the next 12 years, influencing innumerable kids to follow Jesus.

Bridget believed that God was leading her into a career in education and pursued an associate’s degree in education from Pellissippi State. She got involved in youth ministry at her church, landed a job as a teaching assistant, fell in love and married a youth pastor, and had her first child, all while continuing to serve with YOKE. Her career trajectory changed in 2022 when she was offered a position on YOKE’s staff, an opportunity she described as her dream job. She serves as an area director for 5 schools across the northern edge of Knox County.

When asked what her favorite thing about middle schoolers is, she smiled and responded, “Their sassiness.” Middle Schoolers are quick to challenge what you say and sometimes offer a snarky response. This age group not only has unique quirks, but notable challenges as well. As someone who knows what it is like to be a middle schooler searching for answers, Bridget understands the influence YOKE can have on a student’s life. “YOKE played a huge part in my own spiritual journey.”

Bridget and her husband, Nick, are the proud parents of Kaiah, who recently turned 3, and they are expecting their second child this fall. Bridget continues to demonstrate the power that community has on the lives of our students and volunteers. Reflecting the heart of God by faithfully sharing her life with others, Bridget demonstrates the love of Jesus by helping foster life-giving community in the lives of the YOKE Folk and YOKE Kids she comes in contact with.

For more information about serving in the Carter, Gibbs, Halls, Powell, or Karns communities, contact Bridget at 865-522-6907 or bridget@yokeyouth.com.