Photo by Jessica Morgan

“Due to the color of my skin, I was to keep my head low and try to be invisible…In my twenties, I really didn’t talk to people because I felt that I had little to no value to someone else.

“I pressed into the Lord, and I began to see myself as having value and importance. I also discovered that I had a voice. …

“It brings my heart joy to know that God is using me to mentor people. I don’t always have the answers, but I know someone who does – God. Each day, I get to work with and pray for those who are troubled, grieving, fatherless, motherless, homeless and oppressed. I hold them accountable, and I allow others to hold me accountable – to call out my blind spots.

“So, now, when I look in the mirror, I do not see a black man with little to no value. I see myself as God sees us all – ‘fearfully and wonderfully made.’”

– Lee, UGM Director of In-Kind Services, high school football coach, mentor and former professional football player