Morgan Carnley is grateful to University of Mobile for lighting the path to her future. Today, Morgan is a shining example of how giving back to the community leads to opportunities.
“Had I not attended the University of Mobile, I would never have met John and Dolores Eads and joined their team at Light of the Village,” said Morgan.
John and Dolores are co-founders of the Light of the Village, a front-line, hands-on Christian ministry designed to share Christ’s message of faith, hope and love to the inner city, one person at a time. The organization started in the Alabama Village inside the City of Prichard and has expanded into surrounding areas of Prichard and Chickasaw.
Morgan first volunteered at Light of the Village when she was a freshman at University of Mobile in 2007. Her devotion to helping children and teens living in impoverished and crime-ridden neighborhoods set the stage for her career.
“She has been with us ever since,” said John Eads.
The UM graduate has multiple jobs at LOV, where she is a full-time staff member. She is the college and career counselor, volunteer coordinator, special events coordinator and Camp Hope Director. She spent time at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles to learn from what many consider the nation’s “best practice” in gang intervention and job development. She has also visited Urban Promise in Camden, NJ and has helped LOV follow that model in expanding to multiple satellite campuses.
Morgan said Light of the Village offers many services and programs to assist people with their physical needs, but as a Christian ministry, it offers much more.
“The longer I work inside the Alabama Village, the more clearly I see that I am not capable of changing the lives of others,” said Morgan. “Only Christ can do that. We know that an individual can lose his job, his home, or even his life. But no one who truly has Christ will ever lose Him.”
Morgan majored in business administration with concentrations in finance and management at UM. Her minor was music. She was president of the Student Government Association her senior year. She graduated with honors in 2011 and received the Annie Boyd Parker Weaver Excellence Award, the highest honor given to a graduating female.
While working at Light of the Village, she continued her studies at the University of South Alabama, earning a Master of Business Administration in 2013 from USA’s Mitchell College of Business.
Eads said Morgan has a unique ability to see opportunities and find new ways to reach out to the community.
“When she volunteered at Vigor High School, she saw a need to have an ACT prep program” at the school for students, said Eads. With Morgan’s helped, Vigor added the program.
When Morgan started working with Vigor’s girls basketball team, Eads said, she developed relationships with the student athletes.
“She identifies a need and God helps her figure out how to solve it,” he said. “She is very passionate for Christ, and that’s what drives her motivation.”
The list of her professional accomplishments is numerous.
Among those successes, Morgan launched three eight-week summer Bible camps for children in Prichard, Chickasaw, and Baldwin County that serve over 375 children each summer combined; expanded the college internship program at Light of the Village to accommodate growth in camps and ensure consistency among them; and found employment for over 35 inner-city youth and adjudicated adults.
Morgan is a member of the 2015 class of Mobile Bay Magazine’s Forty Under 40, a listing of outstanding young community leaders, and a member of Coastal Alabama’s 20/20 Vision Project.
She also serves as a children’s leader for Bible Study Fellowship and is a member at South City Church.
“I am forever thankful to the University of Mobile for the opportunities I had there to serve and to lead and the lessons I learned while doing both, for the life-long friendships forged there and the support and encouragement those individuals still offer, and for the introduction I received there to Light of the Village,” said Morgan.
“We are changing our little piece of the world by introducing individuals to the One who can change them from the inside out,” Morgan said.