News - Triple Threat Mentoring Wants You

Triple Threat Mentoring Wants You

By Rachel Heston-Davis

Caleb LuperWhen Caleb Luper '99 entered the work world with a freshly minted degree in mass communications in hand, little did he know that he would have a front row seat to an unsettling view: people around him engaged in one long race to make money and build careers.

He heard a call in Scripture to live radically for the Lord, and this passion built as he led small groups and Bible studies. He asked himself how he could echo God's heart for the marginalized every day.

Caleb's wife finally encouraged him to quit his job and move on to something that would make an impact.

"I literally quit my job with no funding, or plan to get any," Caleb says. The pair trusted God to provide during their leap of faith.

Caleb (pictured below, at center) founded the nonprofit organization Triple Threat Mentoring in 2007. Triple-Threat Mentoring declares an ambitious goal: "Fight poverty with passion."Triple-Threat Mentoring-1

Three Principles

The mentoring program connects youth in at-risk communities with adults who share their passions, be it a passion for sports, creativity, or academics.

So what does “Triple Threat” refer to? The organization is premised on three things:

  • Passion: "Everyone has at least something they're passionate about," states the organization's literature. "At 3T [Triple Threat], we believe your passions are gifts. They're not yours to keep; they're yours to share."
  • Purpose: Triple Threat believes connecting to a passion motivates kids to go the distance in their lives—even against daunting circumstances like generational poverty.
  • Relationships: Adults who share their interests encourage kids to chase their dreams and also serve as role models for how to do so. In addition, adults experience purpose that stretches beyond the daily grind.

The organization facilitates these experiences by funding special programming. This programming might look like a community bike ride, an art clinic, a sports camp, a board game group, or a job prep course. It might lead kids to nature, to a microphone where they record a song, or to stand before a canvas with paintbrush in hand.

God Catches Those Who Jump

Triple-Threat Mentoring-4In less than ten years, the “3T” mentoring program has garnered more than 100 local and national partners, including sponsors like Nike. It has grown to three locations with a staff of 24,that serves more than 24,000 at-risk youth. The group operates from Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City.

The Lupers’ faithful jump allowed God to catch them in a big way. Caleb attributes their success to an act of God and good networking.

Also, he says, most people genuinely want to help others. Give them an organization to plug into, and the number of responses might surprise you.

Before 3T, GCTriple-Threat Mentoring-2

Caleb calls GC a "second home" and credits the College with developing many aspects of his character and faith. Notable figures from his undergrad days include Doug Faulkner, Rick McPeak, and Bob Briner, namesake of GC's new Briner School of Business. Caleb says Briner's ideas about Christians bringing light to the workplace inspired him in his decision to start a nonprofit.

"I loved my time at GC. I met my wife there. I know that shaped both of us tremendously," he says, and adds, "A piece of why we do Triple Threat comes from our time at GC."

Read more about alumni who made big ideas come to life:

Calling: Chicago’s Lakefront and Protecting the People’s Parks

Calling: Forever Changed by the Wesleyan Commitment to Social Justice

When Disaster Strikes: The Curious Appeal of Crisis Response

With a gift today, you can help students embrace GC’s vision to “give our work as worship.” Click here to give.

Photos courtesy of Triple Threat Mentoring. Used with permission.

This story was published on October 18, 2016

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