The Dayton region is known for coming together in tough times to help one another. Throughout December, the Dayton Daily News will tell the stories of people who have inspired others during this challenging year.
The Riverside schools partnership has been going on for the past four years. Powell also has started similar programs in Miamisburg, West Carrollton, West Dayton and North Dayton, involving local churches and local schools.
In 2014, Powell began reaching out to other pastors. He said he bluntly told them the way they had been sharing the gospel was ineffective. About two thirds of the churches in Riverside now work with Powell on the Hope4Riverside project.
Jenny Alexander, a spokeswoman for Mad River schools, said Powell has helped students succeed.
“Since Dan walked into the doors of Mad River Local Schools, he has managed to create lasting relationships, friendships, and programs that will touch thousands of students and families for years to come,” she said. “We thank Dan and his fellow pastors for all of their help and commitment in shaping our students’ lives.”
Mad River Schools have been wonderful to work with, Powell said.
“The superintendent is incredible,” he said. “The faculty and staff are amazing.”
This year has been challenging to his mission, he said. He began greeting kids at the beginning of the year when they walked into Stebbins High School, but that had to be shut down quickly because of the pandemic.
After a Mad River student died during a pickup basketball game in May from a heart condition, Powell said Calvary Open Bible Church was able to host an outdoor, socially distanced memorial service for the student, because they had the space on their church’s grounds.
In 2021, Powell said he wants to encourage community, including working with the Mad River Schools teachers to possibly host a parade for all Mad River Schools families to let them know that someone cares about them.
Either way, Powell said he plans to work to make Riverside a better place to live and encourage people to find God.
“We’re trying to be a caring adult to encourage success in the students,” Powell said. “We’re also trying to encourage the teachers along the way.”
Throughout the month of December, the Dayton Daily News will tell the stories of people who have persevered and inspired others during this challenging year. Read all the stories at DaytonDailyNews.com/inspire-dayton. Tell us who inspired you in 2020 by emailing email@example.com.