Friday, September 16, 2011

Phone Conversations

It’s that time of year where DinoMights begins preparing for another season of hockey. In and amongst the chaos of organizing equipment, recruiting volunteers, and making the season schedule we try and call a handful of our kids to and see how their school year has started.

The calls don’t typically last long and consist mostly of the kids answering the following questions with one word responses: “How is school going?” “Do you like your teacher?” “What is your favorite subject right now?”

One phone call, however, turned into a phone call beyond just checking in.

On occasion we have students in DinoMights going to schools that are not the appropriate learning environment for them. We have one kid, in particular, that Scott and Eric worked with last year to help him find a more suitable high school that will help him be more successful with his education. So as Scott got on the phone and found out that he was not going to the school they helped him transfer to, I got to hear Scott’s half of the conversation. It’s conversations like these that make me proud to be a part of DinoMights.

Scott was angry and disappointed. It was an anger and disappointment, though, that came out of a genuine love for the kid. There was a clear passion in his voice that could only exist out of a deep sense of care for him. As Scott questioned him about his current situation, why he wasn’t going to the other school, and if he’d prefer to transfer, the DinoMight insisted that he will be able to succeed at the school he is at instead of transferring. At one point in the conversation I heard Scott say, “I will not sit back and watch you fall through the cracks. I am here for you, and I do believe you can succeed, so if this school is not helping you succeed I WILL intervene."

When Minneapolis has a 4year graduation rate of 49%, these issues become serious. DinoMights acknowledges the statistics, but we see our kids individually. They aren’t just statistics to us, we don’t just want them to “beat” the statistics. We want our kids to grow into adults and have the opportunities to be what they want to be “when they grow up.” We want our kids to make dreams for their lives and see that they are possible to achieve. We want our kids to know that they have choices. Choices to succeed, choices to learn, choices to become who they are.

In the words of E.E. Cummings, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” We want to help them gain that courage and support them in their journey. Scott’s conversation was an example of that.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Vlog 5!!

Here is the link for the 5th video blog! Dinos went to camp :)

Welcome Jensine!

Hello! I’m a new face around here and I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Jensine Pulford and I am here as one of the new program assistants. I have just recently returned to Minneapolis after having spent the last five years teaching abroad in both Guatemala and Jalisco, Mexico. It was a difficult decision to move back, but it has been so much fun getting to know this awesome city all over again. I had forgotten how much I appreciate its unique and beautiful mix of people and culture. And, it is home of the DinoMights!!! I am excited to be here and I am thankful for this brilliant opportunity to be blessed by and to serve with the Dinos! I look forward to meet and build relationships with the Dino community, to be apart of its growth and to see the many ways it will grow me as well. Blessings to you,