Who we are

The Center for Champions recognizes that God has called us to bring hope and help in the inner city.  We focus on the entire family; the at-risk children and youth, the discouraged single parent, the lost young man.  These families are experiencing economic, social, educational and spiritual poverty.

We accomplish this mission as we reach out in ways that meet the needs and also the interests, talents, and giftings of the people we serve.  We believe that God has given each of us unique talents.  Therefore, Center for Champions uses many approaches to impact the children, teens, young adults, and families who participate in our program. We get to know these families and find out their needs and wants. Then, we attempt to provide programs and ministries to address these issues. 

Who is being reached?

We serve at-risk, minority African-American, Latino, and Egyptian families in economically depressed sections of Harrisburg and Steelton. We have over 55+ children and teens in our after school program, four days a week. We reach out to 30+ parents.  About 15 teen and young girls are in our dance program.  


About 700 inner city youth entered 9th grade, a few years ago and less than 200 graduated.  Drug use and sales, crime, territorial violence among youth, arson, insufficient affordable rental housing for low income families, and fatherlessness are some of the problems in the inner-city areas of both Harrisburg and Steelton.  The Harriburg area has the highest reported cases of child abuse per capita in the state of Pennsylvania!

Our Staff

Presently on staff we have seven qualified part-time and full-time individuals. Many come with graduate and undergraduate degrees in social work and education. Staff experience involves decades of work experience and education dealing with special populations, at-risk groups, and diverse urban settings along with social advocacy.

Our current staff members include:

Kirsten Firlik, Executive Director

Richie Lewis, Program Director

Kim Sechrist, K-2nd Grade Teacher

Carissa Stoner, 3rd-5th Grade Teacher

Shannon Hare, Teen Director

Linda Semke, Tutoring Coordinator, Family Outreach


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