Project Infusion Partners with Area Youth

"We’ve got to get our youth in front of leadership so they can see and hear what success really looks and sounds like. So they can see, they can change their mindset," said Project Infusion Director Tina Murray.

Teen members of the youth group Project Infusion recently walked from Osbourn High School to City Hall for a scheduled 45-minute meeting with Mayor Harry J. “Hal” Parrish II.  By the time they checked the clock, it had turned into a 2-1/2 hour rap session.

Many of the youth have faced extremes in their adolescence: broken homes, suicide attempts, suspension for fighting, gang recruitment. 

“We wanted to make a connection with authority, and let the Mayor know what’s happening in the lives of his city’s youth,” said Project Infusion director Tina Murray.

When asked why not go to public school superintendent Dr. Gail Pope or a similar authority? Murray, who works as a housing inspector for the City's Family Services Department responded, “We just thought to go to the top."

Project Infusion is her personal ministry, one that has grown out of a summer youth program at First AME Church of Manassas.  The Project also played an active role in the Youth Café at the City’s recent Neighborhood Conference.

“These youth are struggling with everything from cutting to human trafficking.  We’re addressing those issues with tutoring, mentoring and mediation. Infusion means bringing back together what has been broken.  The connection between the city and its youth has been broken.  We want to bring together what is separate and that‘s why I felt to go straight to the mayor.”

After listening, asking their opinions and sharing his own adolescence – working in the family business, getting a pilot’s license at age 17 – Mayor Parrish wanted to know what the youth would take away from their time together. 

“A relationship came out of it,” said Murray.  “He told them, look, when I see you guys I’m expecting you to come up and say hi to me.  The kids left with confidence.  ‘I just sat and talked with the Mayor. We walked into his office.  The mayor saw us.’”

Mayor Parrish is considering appointing a youth to one of the City’s boards.  He exchanged e-mails and accepted an invitation to watch them play basketball. 

Project Infusion is also responsible for a meeting between area youth and Sgt. Christian Jones, of Manassas, who upon a brief break from serving in Iraq back in October took the time to speak with kids at a city event.

Jones spoke about how joining the military right out of high school allowed him to support his family and change his life around."It changes your view of a lot of stuff in a positive way," he told the kids.

Jones, who admitted he was going down the wrong path in life, said joining the military "was a good thing to do" for him because it provided him with training and an education.

"Any branch of service gives you money to go to school; college, everything," he told the kids.

Project Infusion has regular meetings and is planning events, including a ‘70s party and a benefit concert, but Murray needs funding, volunteers and transportation to grow the program.

“I’m not speaking for everyone, but for some, we adults have fallen short when it comes to our kids.  It’s no excuse, but we’ve had adults in our lives that failed us as well.  It’s a vicious cycle.  We’ve got to get our youth in front of leadership so they can see and hear what success really looks and sounds like.  So they can see, they can change their mindset.  They don’t have to stay in the same place.”

For more information, contact Tina Murray at ProjectInfusion@yahoo.com

Robyn M Johnson December 09, 2011 at 01:55 PM
great article and great program!
Al Radford December 09, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Love it, love it, love it! Wonderful ministry and a blessing to the community. These are movers and shakers who are doing and will continue to do GREAT things! Proud of you, Tina!
Erin Gibson December 09, 2011 at 04:19 PM
I have been to many Project Infusion events including the talent show at Metz earlier this year and it is truly amazing to see how the support and acceptance provided to the youth makes such a positive difference in their lives. Great Job Tina! This is an important story because it shows that it pays to invest time and resources in our youth so they can grow into great citizens! Everyone wants to complain about how the world is so bad, but no one seems to wants to invest in its future, so again, great job Tina! And thanks to the other members of the community, like Mayor Parrish, who take the time out to talk to our kids!
Penelope T Palmer-Jones December 12, 2011 at 06:50 PM
Tina, ever since I met you I've seen the beauty, joy, life that you bring and reflect on others. God has truly smiled on You and has given you an awesome talent...keep up the goood work and God will open many more doors for You, The Community and Project Infusion!! PTP-J
debbie Cali May 23, 2013 at 11:48 AM
I am a huge fan of Tina Murray and many of the kids in her care... I pray that as the Mayor and other leaders in the community embrace this movement it will continue to break down barriers and SAVE LIVES....


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »