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Ruth Lumpkins


Yes for Youth

935 Baxter S.E.
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506
Ruth A. Lumpkins, executive director of Jubilee Jobs, has a strong desire to help the underserved and a vision to inspire all of her students not only to have dreams, but to realize them and be serious about their education and their future.
Michigan Nightlight: What does being a leader mean to you?
Jubilee Jobs Executive Director Ruth Lumpkins: Being a leader means having the opportunity to use the gifts and skills God has gifted me with so I can share my gifts with others.  It also means that I can be a voice for the vulnerable; and finally, it means I have an obligation to do God’s will.
What is your dream for kids?
My dream for students is that they are equipped to become all that God has destined them to be. I encourage students to
I encourage students to reach for the stars and not let anyone tell them what they cannot become.
reach for the stars and not let anyone tell them what they cannot become. Often times, I use various children’s books like the “Little Engine that Could” and Zora Neal Hurston’s book “The Chinaberry Tree” to help students dream of what they can do and what they can become – and to set goals for themselves.
What is one concrete thing that could be done to improve the environment for
social sector work in Michigan?
To think and work strategically and align resources that will yield greater impact. Students and workers must be equipped with 21st century skills needed for employment.
How do you know you’re making progress?
We know we are making progress when student achievement has improved, when students are making positive decisions, dreaming dreams and working to their fullest potential. We also know we are making progress when students come back and say “thank you for not giving up on me and insisting that I not quit.”
What are you most proud of?
As a former educator, librarian and administrator, I am proud of the fact that I have the opportunity to give back to my community. As executive director, I am proud to have the opportunity to help, encourage, advocate and direct lives of people
The poor will always be with us and I want justice – to equip and to empower youth to make good choices.
who have had many doors closed. Even while they are crying because they don’t see how they are going to make it, I encourage them to dream about what their real life looks like and then establish goals for achieving their dream. It is very rewarding to see the changes in attitude! 
What keeps you awake at night? 
Budget issues. Researching and analyzing organizational effectiveness while trying to ensure that we are still being true to our mission. I grew up poor, but didn’t know it because I had parental, church and community support. I was a good student. The poor will always be with us and I want justice – to equip and to empower youth to make good choices. There are so many needs in our community and I have a heart for people and a passion to help those who need help the most. It is very difficult to tell people no.
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Program Profile


  • Jubilee Jobs, Inc.
    Serving Christ by equipping and empowering the underdeveloped toward economic self-sufficiency, emotional healing and spiritual renewal.


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