Friday, May 22, 2009

Sparks: Part 1

Pictured above is a Cheddar Burger with Balsamic Onions. At first glance you might think that it is just a plain old cheese burger. You also might think, "What is that doing on the DinoMights blog?" Well there are several reasons.

First, it is because I am on vacation for Memorial Weekend. When I go on vacation this is what I like to do: Grill. And, when I am on vacation and have the time I don't grill up just any old plain thing. I like to get creative and see what amazing and unique flavors can be brought out of the food cooked on the grill, which brings me to my second point.

The kids of DinoMights are not unlike that burger. People may look at them and quickly make a value judgement like, "Oh it's just another cheesburger." However, if you pay closer attention, if you take the time to really taste, and get to know our kids you'll see: Those are grilled onions on top of that burger with balsamic vinegrette added for just the right flavor. Also, that is chipotle ketchup that gives this sandwich a smokey kick. It's not just a plain old burger.

However, it may have started out in the usual way. It was essential ground beef, raw onions, bread, etc. It needed to be cooked, and in order for the food to be cooked it required a spark to light up the grill.

Cutting edge research by Dr. Peter Benson of Search Institute indicates that it takes a spark for kids to thrive and flourish. Our DinoMights kids are not just statistics in a poor neighborhood. Moreover, we need not measure their success by what they "don't do" (they don't use drugs, they don't join gangs, etc.) Rather, they are beautiful unique people that have something to offer the world. That beauty comes out when something or a group of things act as a catalyst to launch a young person's pursuit of purpose.

Over the next few weeks on the blog I want to be talking about Sparks at DinoMights. What kinds of DinoMights activities are sparking kids to their purpose, and what can we do to keep providing those sparks.

In the meantime, I've got to go eat that tasty burger!

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