Arvest Bank Video Series Features North Tulsa Mentor

Friday, March 02 at 04:00 PM
Category: People Helping People

Beach Fosters Change Through Empowerment 

TULSA, Okla. (March 2, 2017) – Chris Beach doesn’t mince words. 

“North Tulsa is an area of a lot of hurt, a lot of pain,” he said, ticking off a list of woes – poverty, unemployment, crime and illiteracy, among others – that long have plagued its residents. 

Fortunately for those who live in north Tulsa, Beach is as passionate as he is candid. The founder of Tulsa YouthWorks, Beach moved to the area more than 15 years ago, and for the last 10 has poured his time and energy into creating a sea change. He has done so by working with the future of north Tulsa, its children. 

“We really felt like, ‘These kids are very talented. Is there something we can do?’” Beach said. “Not just help them with food, not just help them with recreation and field trips, but is there a way we can actually empower them to help change their own community?" 

 

Beach and those at Tulsa YouthWorks work with about 200 kids a year, using an after-school program and various camps to spend more than 200 days a year with them. The organization’s Pizza Factory teaches the children how to make pizzas and serve others. 

 

The service piece is critical, Beach said. In addition to making one pizza they take home for their families, each child makes another pizza to give to homeless or other needy north Tulsa residents. 

“The reason why we have them go out… If all we do is serve the kids and help them out with their lives, they'll be appreciative, but they're still in a victim mindset because of all the stuff that they've gone through in their life,” Beach said. “When we empower them to go out and serve others, it changes their whole mindset.” 

 

Beach is the 29th person to be featured in Arvest Bank’s People Helping People video series. The series is designed to celebrate individuals in the communities Arvest serves who are uniquely making a difference. The idea came from the bank’s mission statement: “People helping people find financial solutions for life.” 

There are other components to Tulsa YouthWorks, including kids who go from making and delivering pizzas to making presentations to churches, businesses and civic groups in an effort to sell more pizzas. Part of each sale goes into a college savings fund in the name of the child who sold the pizza. 

Again, the idea is empowerment. 

“A lot of the kids, they start out when they're in kindergarten,” Beach said. “If you can imagine, all these years of making pizzas and selling pizzas, we hope to have a good, substantial amount for them when they’re ready for college.

 

“We're looking for companies out there who want to match the children, match all the scholarship funds so that when they go, it's not even what they've sold, but even double that. Again, the number one reason we find why these children don't go to college, flat-out their parents don't have the money to send them, and so that means the children don't get equipped to live out their dreams.” 

 

Even for the kids who may not go to college, Beach believes Tulsa YouthWorks provides them with a foundation for success by helping them academically and teaching them life skills. 

“The biggest ways that we define success at YouthWorks is, ‘Do the kids come and do they always feel loved here?’” Beach said. “Do they feel accepted? Do they feel like somebody actually believes in them? Do they feel like somebody is going to be there for them no matter what? That's why we're here 204 days out of the year.” 

 

The award-winning videos are available via Arvest’s social media channels – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and the Arvest Blog – and the bank will make related posts each time a new story appears. Additionally, Arvest social media followers can help spread the word about these inspiring community members by sharing, liking and retweeting the videos. Beach’s video launched on March 2. 

 

About Arvest Bank

Arvest Bank, named by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best Large Employers” for 2017, operates more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas through a group of 15 locally managed banks, each with its own board and management team. These banks serve customers in more than 120 communities, with extended weekday banking hours at many locations. Arvest also provides a wide range of banking services including loans, deposits, treasury management, credit cards, mortgage loans and mortgage servicing. Arvest is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

    

Tags: Oklahoma, People Helping People, Tulsa
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