An old commercial building on Olive Road in Atlanta, GA, was transformed by Pastor Yannik McKie into a place where at-risk youth and families can find a second chance in life.
McKie is the Lead Pastor of Chosen, a church that stands by its mission of "guiding people into their God-given identities." Pastor McKie serves as its head Purpose Coach, as well as the CEO of the Purpose Center.
"Our goal is to equip these young men with character development, job placement, and tutoring to help them finish high school so they can further their education, enter the army, start a business, whatever it is that their hearts desire to do we want to equip them to do that," Pastor McKie said.
The Purpose Center building will also be used for music and STEM program for children, WJBF reported.
"A lot of them want to rap, they want to sing, some of them want to make beats. So, to be able to channel a lot of the emotional pain that they feel instead of taking it on someone else they can put it into music," Purpose Center COO Devron Mitchell said.
Devron Mitchell has worked in the music industry for two decades now, and is currently helping children in the community have a brighter future,
"It's like winning the lottery for me," Mitchell added. "You know, it brings me that much excitement because I realize that if me being a part of their life could actually be the decision-maker or the difference-maker and whether they're dead or in jail."
The building will also be used as a place to mentor men and teach them useful skills instead of merely putting them under probation for committing minor law violations. This is made possible through a partnership between the Purpose Center and the district attorney.
"Our goal is to use these men in training program to be the gap between probation and prison and giving these at-risk males a second chance at life," McKie said.
Chosen, one of the fastest-growing ministries in the city, was birthed out of love for the community.
"God amazingly brought together a group of unique people in Augusta to form a loving community. CHOSEN'S dream is to use our ministry to inspire the beautiful people of our city to maximize their potential and live in their God-given purpose," Chosen declared in its website.
The McKie foundation paved the way for McKie to serve on the Board for My Brother's Keeper, Augusta University's African American Male Initiative, and sponsored events for the Medical College of Georgia, The Youth Challenge Academy, Columbia County School System, and more.
He lost both of his parents at the age of 15 to the deadly AIDS disease, according to Chosen. He used his pain to lead him into the purpose of helping other orphans, at-risk youth, and their families.