"We Are Neighbors to Each Other"
Walk through the doors of Citadel Corps on Cuming Street on a Tuesday night, and along with a cacophony of animated voices, you’ll also hear something a little more unusual. The lively sounds of trumpet, baritone and cornet fill the space as dozens of students tune their instruments and get ready to practice.
Each Tuesday, 60 to 70 kindergarteners through 12th graders, many of whom live in nearby economically challenged neighborhoods, arrive at Citadel to enjoy a home-cooked dinner and fellowship followed by character-building classes -- where they engage in games, leadership building activities and Bible study -- and music classes. While the younger kids learn music fundamentals and singing techniques, older students practice in Beginning Brass and the Junior Band or participate in a gospel arts group that explores drama and dance.
“Research shows how music impacts kids’ academic performance, but the real reason I love our music programs is because of the way they connect the kids to us,” explained Citadel Corps Officer Maj. Trevor McClintock. “We know when they are having a bad day. We know where they work and what’s going on in their lives. And the kids know there are adults here who care about them and love them.”
Majors Trevor and Rochelle McClintock have served as corps officers at Citadel for the last six years. They embraced the move from Grand Rapids, Michigan, where they oversaw youth programs and the camping ministry as divisional youth secretaries, to Omaha because it allowed them to “get back to pastoring, which is where our gifts are,” said Maj. Trevor.
The Youth Development program has continued to grow under the McClintocks’ leadership. “We could fill this building from top to bottom,” said Maj. Trevor. “The only limitations are the number of vans we have to transport the kids from home to the corps and then back home again and the staff to manage the programs.”
In addition to the Youth Development programs, Citadel also offers the Celebrate Recovery Ministry, a Christian 12-step addiction recovery program led by Renaissance Village Chaplain Capt. Kevin Robbins. Celebrate Recovery launched this past summer and has grown to 50 participants. “This ministry has connected us to many of our neighbors who are struggling,” said Maj. Trevor.
During 2018 Majs. Trevor and Rochelle and their staff also focused on campus integration. Citadel is part of Renaissance Village, which includes programs specializing in older adult services, behavioral health, veterans services, housing and early child education.
“Some of the residents of the Mental Health Respite program and the seniors living at Durham Booth participate in our worship services and other programs, and our soldiers are becoming more involved in some of the other campus programs as well,” said Maj. Trevor. “We are neighbors to each other. Being part of this campus extends our faith.”