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The Penndulum

Leaving a Positive Impact on Pennridge Youth

Anna Croyle
Jason Lollar, area director, speaking at a Pennridge YoungLife club.

In the Pennridge area, YoungLife has been nothing short of a blessing for the kids who have gotten involved. YoungLife is a community organization that aims to help teenagers experience Jesus in fun and amazing ways. According to Upper Bucks YoungLife, four out of five YoungLife participants consider it and its leaders to be a significant influence on their faith. The organization holds clubs where students meet to play games, watch skits, and more. There are also weekly campaigners, a bible study at a high schooler’s house, and the famous summer camps that change teenagers’ lives. Although YoungLife only began in our community about four years ago, it has grown rapidly, positively impacting the Pennridge youth.

Because of its novelty and religious aspects, YoungLife is not always presented in the most positive way. Kevin Zetino, a senior at Pennridge and a newer member of YoungLife, recalls, “I’ve heard people say that YoungLife is weird, but that’s only said by people that have never gone before.” Zetino himself states that when he heard about it from a friend, he thought it might be boring. However, when he went, his experience was “amazing.” He says everyone is so nice, and the area director treats you like you have been there forever. He now realizes that “YoungLife is filled with people just trying to enjoy their teenage years” and is grateful that it has “Opened the door to being closer to God.” Zetino was so inspired by his experience that he signed up for camp shortly after his first attendance.

YoungLife is changing the lives of new members, but students who have been there since the beginning say that it is still helping them improve their lives. Meredith Blannett, who has been involved for two years, says, “YoungLife has helped me find the best version of myself. It has also helped me form relationships with like-minded people and meet my best friends.” Not only does YoungLife provide a gateway to experience Jesus in a fun way, but it also helps teenagers form genuine relationships, something they can struggle to find. Blannett suggests that summer camp is her favorite thing about YoungLife. She says it is a great way to get a break from reality. Overall, Blannett believes that this organization has helped make her a more understanding and patient person.

YoungLife was made possible in the Pennridge community because of Jason Lollar, who oversees YoungLife in all of Bucks County and is the area director. He believes he was called to help teenagers and introduce them to Jesus. He is so grateful that YoungLife has provided him with the opportunity to do so and says, “A front-row seat to what Jesus does in the lives of teenagers is one of the greatest privileges of my life.” Lollar remembers the first club in the area with only nine students. He is so proud of how far it has come with the organization just recently having its biggest club yet with 58 students. Other than for high school students, he notes that YoungLife continues to expand through ministries for middle school students, people with disabilities, and teen moms.

Those who have participated in YoungLife are grateful for all the opportunities it has given them and are glad they have something to look forward to every week. If interested, information can be found on their Instagram (@ylpennridge). The group meets at The Station in Dublin almost every Monday and at Pennridge student Sawyer Russell’s house for campaigners on Sundays. Everyone is welcome, and, as the YoungLife slogan says, “You were made for this.”

@ylpennridge on Instagram

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About the Contributor
Anna Croyle, Student Writer
Anna Croyle, Grade 12. Interests/hobbies include playing soccer, hanging out with friends and family, going to the beach, watching movies, and attending YoungLife, NHS, and Key Club. Anna plans to attend Syracuse University to study sports management and play soccer.

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