“The Movies” The End To Our Project

As we started out with this project, we had a lot of thoughts in our minds. Will it be easy, will the kids behave, does this really have an impact on the kids. As the project went on we got to know the kids and realize how we could change their behavior. After almost one year of going to see them every week, we could draw some clear conclusions about them, us, and the project as a whole. One of the things that we saw greatest change in was the way the kids saw us. At the beginning they were not interested in hearing what we had to say, or even listen to what we told them to do. But at the end of the project the kids would see us as role models, and although sometimes they wouldn’t listen, they felt that being part of the “lunch buddies” was something they enjoyed. A lot of the kids behavior changed drastically, from screaming in the tables to disobeying their teaches and us, to actually doing everything any adult would tell them. A lot of this project was based upon the relationship between us and the kids. On how as we would come through the door of Boyd and the kids would be standing in line, and as soon as they would recognize one of us they would run towards us and give us hugs, tell us they missed us, and although they were running out of line and disobeying their teachers, it showed how we could actually impact their behavior and outlook on life.

We are working with kids that come for unorthodox families, and some of them might have an issue with being respectful towards other classmates or other type’s of conduct problems. One of the things that we saw the greatest change in was how they would actually listen to us when we told them to be nice to other kids, how whenever we would eat with them they would actually try to finish their food just because we told them so. As well as some of the kids would stop looking at school as something boring, and actually think of it as means to a better life (one of them already want’s to be a chemical engineer!).

The kids created a bond with us, that at the beginning of the project we didn’t think would be as strong as it is now. We care and want the best for these kids and although sometimes we would have to be strict with them, there is also time for fun and games. As the end of the approached, we thought it would be a great idea to take the kids out to the movies as a reward for improving their behavior. Although it was hard to handle them outside of Boyd they still would listen to whatever we said, in the end the trip was very enjoyable.

All in all this project was meant to make a change in the kids, make them happier as well as better of for the future. Although seeing them one to 4 hours every week is not a lot of time, it was all the time we needed for them to actually think differently, improve their conduct, and most importantly reach them on a personal level. In this project one of the most gratifying things was to be able to take them to the movies. This single event meant that their parents trusted us to take care of their child, that the kids felt comfortable enough to go somewhere with us outside of Boyd without their parents, and finally the things the parents told us about their kids when they came to leave and pick their children up from the meeting point. We heard that a lot of the kids actually were behaving better at home, that they would always talk about the lunch buddies and how happy they were to be part of that. A lot of parents actually thanked us for the work we were putting into their child, and we as well thanked them for letting us create a relationship that not only made the kids grow, but also ourselves.

This kind of experience makes you humble, makes you realize that whatever you do transcends to others as your image, and how being a role model can influence someone greatly. All in all this project has reached its end, and a lot of the goals we wanted to reach, such as creating relationships with the kids or improving their conduct were met. This project has made us more mature and aware of how the way we behave reflects on the people we want to help, and we sincerely hope we can, on some level, keep contact with the kids, as well as pass this project on so other people can benefit from this.

 

 

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It’s time for results

A large project takes small steps until completion. Every project also involves a period of hard work and few visible results. As the year moves forward our Summit group is starting to see those wanted results.

Before Winter Break we were very pleased to watch the evolution in the behavior of our “lunch buddies”. They started to eat all their food, showing good manners at the table and respecting each other better. Also their relationship improved because they all shared that bond of having us as their “lunch buddies”. This created a greater confidence in themselves as they felt special because other kids that wanted to be with us saw them with respect. They probably earned somehow that spot…

These kids were assigned to us because they come from non traditional families, disrupted environments of have lived painful situations at short age. It is very rewarding to hear them say that they want to be like us.. Not in the sense of how we are personally but being young adults that go to college and achieve something. Valuable lessons have been learnt here. We have seen that these kids can also teach us something in spite of their short age. Sometimes we grow up and think people can’t change. That their mindset is determined already but the change in attitude we’ve seen in these kids make us think there’s nothing written in stone. That there’s always a better you and and a better me. It just needs a slight push to come out and make us thrive.

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Internal changes and decisions after the first semester

After having worked for the first four months with our group we just came back from home. We are all internationals from around the globe and we had time to spend with our families. Some group members have difference experiences than others every time we have a break and we go back home so we learn from different thing that can make us see things different. Among the group we have had some life changes and that affected in the whole view of our project and how we should approach the kids.

First of all we have been thinking about all we made last semester, the pros and conts that all of our actions could cause the kids and our positive influence on them. The fact that we were having lunch and spending recess time with them made us get to know them more, but we had some time issues to repeat the schedule from last semester because of our class schedules.

We have been here for a little more than one month after the break now, and we are ready to take our project one step further than what we did last semester. It is also determined by our busy schedule during the week but it gives us, and the kids a great opportunity to improve our relationship with the kids and make it stronger. We want to achieve this by taking them out of their routine and spend actually real free time of their lives with us. We think that will be an opportunity to make us achieve our personal goals, as a group, and for the project.

After this first month of internal adaptations to the new schedule we will keep you updated on how the changes of perspective and taking our project to a further view will go!

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First four months of community leadership program by Jorge

After having spent this four moths with the kids every week, we have been adapting and changing our actions and our way of thinking based on our experiences. When I think about my state of mind for months ago I was totally different. I have never done such a program like this that could make me see things this way, having such a big impact in some kids thank to our collaboration.

After watching the change in some of the kids behavior when we see them every week, there are seven days in between every meeting we meet them and we can already see important changes. We know that all of these kids don’t have the best atmosphere at home and sometimes they have problems that we can’t even imagine. But the fact that we are meeting them every week makes changes such as they are becoming much closer to us and every time they see us walking into the school we can see their expressions becoming happier right away. Since we are their lunch buddies we are always trying to make them finish their food, but that is not an easy task. We have to deal with some stuff that we would rather not deal with and use that time we are with them to get to know more of their personal lifes and how is their day-to-day life at home and with their families.

Some of them have expressed themselves really good during these months and we have noticed an important change in matters of positive behavior. We know that it is impossible to make them all change as the best kids do, but we try to make them see small things that make them better persons little by little. This is really important because we know that we may be the only people they can see a positive and a model to follow so we try to teach them the best manners we know. From my point of view when I’m with the kids I forget about everything else in my calendar, the kids make me focus and think only about them. Of course they sometimes make me feel like I don’t make the difference to them but because they are kids, but after that they show me some really positive actions that make me feel proud of the program and the progress I have made with them. That is what gives me, and my group the energy enough to keep going and watching more positive changes to make these kids have a better present and future lifes.

I hope next semester we can keep having the same improvements as we have been watching this semester on the kids, and for those who are also dreaming in being our lunch buddies I hope we can have the opportunity to keep going farther with the project and help them too!

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All the kids together by jorge

All the kids together by jorge

One of the day were we finally got them all in the same place after some rewards obviously…

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The kids having fun in the playground by Jandui

The kids having fun in the playground by Jandui

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The kids

The kids

Jeremia and Jonathan hugging Jorge!

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