Jeremy Demarest nearly enrolled in the MAYM program four years ago when beginning his work as the director of children, youth, and family ministries at Round Rock (Texas) Presbyterian Church. Flash forward three years when he and his wife found themselves moving to Memphis, Tennessee. The Center for Youth Ministry Training sent him a notice about the program, and Jeremy says, “The timing was perfect. I was looking for two things: a community of children and youth directors to lean on and learn with, and actual training on how to be the best at my position and future working with young people.” 

His Memphis placement is as director of children and family ministries at Calvary Episcopal Church. He loves the church and the people and the work but shares that “this line of work can be … uhhh … tiring, and taxing and at times it can be hard to find people who truly understand. It is so vital in any relational profession to have a community of support,” he continues, “and the MAYM program intentionally gives you a community of other children and youth directors as well as professors and coaches who have years of experience to help guide you and offer wisdom and support.” 

Jeremy describes Calvary as a “large, loving church” in the heart of the city. “Our mission is to make God’s love visible in downtown Memphis, and I feel it does just that. Calvary is very focused on helping to support and lift up our local community, from weekly basement church where our unhoused brothers and sisters can come to get a warm meal, to our clothing closet where folks can get toiletries and a change of clothes. For my ministry, I aim to get the youth more involved in our outreach services and also to offer mental health training and resources for our volunteers and parents to aid them in bringing up our young people.” 

Jeremy credits the MAYM program for the collaborative community it fosters among people who not only learn together but share ideas and help to cultivate the best programing for each other, as well as offering personal support outside of the academics.