To help refugees heal, learn, and direct their own futures for good.
Since 2017, our Co-Founders, Shawna and Jonathan Sheahen, have been building relationships with their refugee neighbors in Nashville. There are countless ways that the relationships they've built have greatly impacted their perspective and deepened their faith. Walking with these communities has highlighted the thousands of refugees right here in Nashville who have so much to offer and desperately want to succeed, but are met with insurmountable odds that are stacked against them in this country. The common need is education. Education that builds core skills necessary to succeed in a 21st-century economy. Education that helps them heal from trauma. Education that leads them to a better understanding of their purpose here on earth and place in God’s Kingdom.
For over a year, Shawna and Jonathan felt a deep stirring in them that they couldn't articulate. The one thing they felt sure of was that God was calling them to something new- they just didn't know what that was. A trip to UrbanPromise Honduras in February 2020 opened their eyes to see what God was doing through the model of UrbanPromise, and they started dreaming of what the UP model might look like in their context in Nashville. In the Summer of 2020, after many months spent in prayer and research, Jonathan and Shawna made the decision to serve their refugee community full time and were granted approval by the UrbanPromise International Board of Directors to become an official UP site. They launched UP Nashville in September 2020. Read their reflection about their first year here.
what makes our
Our Commitment to Youth Leadership: Many organizations strive to enroll students in tutoring programs or summer camps, but no other organization employs, empowers, and challenges high school students to be the leaders of change in their own neighborhoods to the extent we do at UrbanPromise.
Our Commitment to Christ-Centered Holistic Development in Children and Youth: UrbanPromise’s combination of high-level academic instruction, leadership development, emotional support, and Christ-centered character education provides children and youth with holistic development.
Long-Term Commitment to Children, Youth, and Communities: Children do not just walk through UrbanPromise’s doors for a single summer or single school year. Our connected after school programs and summer camp provide students with year-round support. As students move into high school, our StreetLeader Program offers a unique opportunity to take a leadership role in UrbanPromise programs.