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after school tutoring |

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Mission Statement: Avenue exists to stir churches to take action and open its doors throughout the week to support the next generation academically and spiritually.


Vision: to see a church open in every one of the 53 neighborhoods of Manatee County where students can walk after school to get the encouragement and support they need. Beyond that, the hope would be to see a church open in all of the 941 area, expanding beyond our region, where the church in very city is providing a solution for the great need our students have.

Check out a clip of some of the students who inspired us in 2019 our pilot location in Bradenton. 

Students who receive tutoring and mentoring have a 90% higher success rate than their peers. 

Our Story:

In February of 2019, tens of thousands of Christians gathered in Orlando as a variety of ministries beckoned the Church to wage war on inaction. Hearts of believers around the country were provoked to take action in the areas of adoption, fostering, public high schools, our neighborhoods and in the nations.

Avenue was birthed with the vision to see the church rise up to be the answer to each of those needs.

In the summer of 2019 at a leadership training school in Orlando called 21 Project, Avenue was born. When presented with the problems of our education system and a staggering drop-out rate, a few women put a plan together to see the church bring solution and to see young hearts burn with zeal for the gospel. 

Young people are hungry for truth and hope.

May the church rise up in this hour to share a foundation on which this generation can stand. May we be found teaching our young people what it means to rise above challenges. May we rise up in boldness and courage to persevere in fostering academic success and achieving potential. Let us be found faithful in reaching out to those who need help and support. Let us encourage the downtrodden and strengthen the weak by providing the space and encouragement this generation needs. 

Avenue recognizes that the church "lacks no good thing"

and has the answer to each need in our communities.

Avenue941 is the initial launch of this dream as we rally churches in Palmetto, Bradenton and Sarasota. It is our hope that there will be an "avenue" initiative all across the nation and in many other area codes.


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Brenda Critchfield

Founder, Director

Brenda was a middle school teacher at Electa Lee Middle in Bradenton from Dec 2015- June 2021. She taught in NC for 8 years before that and has ten years of experience in teaching 8th grade Language Arts. She has her MAT from UNCC. She believes that her role as a teacher was to speak truth and inspire the next generation to break off the chains of conformity and walk in the freedom that Christ has called them into. She founded Avenue941 with the hope that every student in Manatee County would have access to a caring adult to support them academically, emotionally and spiritually. In 2023, she won the Human Rights Award from the local chapter of Church Women United for her work to bring justice and equity to all students in Manatee County.


Katie Wilcox


Unite Us Platform Supervisor and Family Services Liaison

Katie Wilcox and Brenda Critchfield met at the 21Project school in summer of 2019 where Avenue was born and Katie is the one who came up with the name Avenue! Katie grew up in Massachusetts where she was a Family Life Intern and youth group leader at her home church. Her degree is Child and Family Services from Messiah University in PA. After graduating, she moved to Delaware to work at a medical day care and helped children with various diagnoses reach their highest level of development through play. She has volunteered with various grief support groups and is moving to South Carolina to work with children with autism and/or related disabilities. She cares about the mental and emotional well being of children and families and wants every child to know they are loved by God and have a unique purpose.

Our Team

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Colleen Sullivan

Belinda Ductan

Nicole Manassa

Jessica Wilkins

Randy Wilkins

Kaly King

Solomon Palacio

Midline Lozin

Brenda Critchfield

Not Pictured:

Jessica Marty and high school interns: Isabelle Beyers, Annaliese Manassa and Carlos Rodriguez

Our team is a diverse group of individuals from various backgrounds who have come together for the unified mission of reaching this generation for Jesus through the "avenue" of academic support and mentorship.

Each person on our team holds the strict conviction that each student is capable of success and has been created by God to live in this time for a specific purpose and calling.

Every team member is fully committed to speaking life over our students, their futures and their dreams. 

We believe that even though we are spread out across the city, it's unity that helps us see progress in our goals.

We believe that students are worth fighting for, that their individual stories matter and that as students are given advocates, hope arises, confidence grows and there is no limit to the potential within them. 

Each member of the team acts as a "Site Facilitator" for one of our 8 partner locations, building stronger connections between our schools, churches and families.

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