In January 1995, a group of faith-based leaders established ESPIRITU Community Development Corporation, a non-profit organization. Its goal is to renew communities by forming servant leaders with faith-based principles. These new servant leaders will then rebuild their own communities with community service projects. The model was two pronged, Servant Leadership and Community Development; to develop leaders, have them form other leaders, who would then build spirit in their families and their communities.
The “Servant Leadership” model was developed into an educational system. Leaders are identified, formed and joined with other leaders in forming teams who are then sent out to assist other communities change their circumstances. In summary, a servant leader’s primary role is to assist a community in developing a strong moral and values-based code of ethics which forms the foundation from which various projects are planned and launched in service to others.
Next the community development model, “MaryTown” was developed into four essential components:
• Build spirit and values (virtues).
• Build knowledge and intellect (education).
• Build Servant Leadership (Productive leadership through service)
• Build new infrastructure; schools, affordable housing, and self-sustaining projects.
A charter school was built to put into practice this unique educational experience, and then the organization was selected by the National Football League to operate the Youth Education Town (NFL-YET) on the same campus. Next, the organization expanded its programs internationally. New leaders from other parts of the world came to form part of the ESPIRITU team. Over the following years the organization has developed on a 15 acre campus call MaryTown-Espiritu on which several educational and faith-based programs are offered.