Name: Mandi Whittaker
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Education: BA in Psychology from Auburn University
Ministry at Ablaze: Project Manager at ProjectYM
Ministry Background: I grew up Catholic, but didn’t start to appreciate it until I got to college. When my whole world changed, I recognized that the Mass was the one thing that remained familiar (whether I was home or at school…or anywhere in the world). That opened in me a love for the Catholic faith that evolved into a deep calling to share it with the young Church in a way I had never experienced as a teen. I was initially trained as a Young Life Leader, then transitioned into serving in the Catholic Church as an intern Middle School Youth Minister until I graduated from college. After graduating I was hired as the High School Youth Minister at a parish in Georgia and served at that parish for 12 years. Since then I have helped local youth ministers by speaking at parishes, running retreats and working as a Camp Manager for Alive In You: Catholic Conference and Camp.
Passions and Interests: I am married to James and a momma to two girls, Layla & Kiarra. A lot of what I love to do has something to do with my family– I love a good game night, I’m a Troop leader for my daughters with Girl Scouts, and any other time spent with them. Praise & Worship music and singing are my go to for prayer and lifting my day. Give me a glass of dark beer, friends and a game night and I’m a happy lady!
How did you become involved: I saw a post on the Catholic Youth Ministry Discussion Facebook page that ProjectYM was hiring. When I read the description my heart picked up speed. This was truly a mix of so many passions of my heart–organization and supporting Catholic Youth Ministers! God opened a door I could not ignore and He took it from there.
“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” – Teresa of Calcutta
“Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
“It is the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.” – Deuteronomy 31:8