Yes, indeed, those moments - the ones when I feel discouraged, incompetent, and ineffective. As I have mentioned a few times, trust is one of the most important components of self-directed learning. I firmly believe every kid intuitively knows what they need and will seek it out on their own terms, and I will always support them to do just that. Nevertheless, there are times I forget to trust myself and this process.
I was having one of those moments last weekend. Wallowing - would sum up this particular funk nicely.
Then, out of the blue, a text arrived from a young adult who had been a member of DRC in our very early years. Her main point was to wish me a Happy Birthday - but in the process, she explained that she would not be in the positive place she is now if it had not been for DRC and wanted to thank me.
She is doing really well in a career that she loves. As we continued the text conversation, she said that because of her experience at DRC, she was confident in leaving college after a year and taking on an unconventional job that fit her skills, talents, and interests beautifully.
Now that I recall, the most fascinating part of this story is that she came in sporadically because she had a full plate of responsibilities at home - helping to care for younger foster siblings. When she did come in, she socialized with a few other teens and did tons of art. She was not at all interested in academics or formal mentoring sessions. I never felt like I offered her much.
Looking back, I can say she needed us for one thing - to be that safe space where she felt completely comfortable following her interests and exploring the different versions of herself without judgment until she discovered her authentic self.
Next time I feel myself sliding into a 'moment' - I hope to recall that each of these kids needs something different from us and trust that they will find it - because we support them in this diverse, open, welcoming environment to do just that.
DRC True Story
This DRC-CANTON kiddo has refused to join any cooking or baking sessions. But she adores eating everything we bake - especially our made-from-scratch biscuits.
I asked EH if she would help make biscuits for our traditional turkey meal because she loves them so much. I encouraged her by saying if she learned how she could make them whenever she wanted. She replied, "I don't know how to bake," and I said, "That is the point of the baking class." Then she mentioned that her Dad loves biscuits, too. I told her we could make some for him and put them aside. That is when she agreed to make them. They were pretty OK - for the first try.
Later that day, she was shaping the salt play dough other kids had made and asked if she could make Christmas cookies someday. I think she will be joining our baking crew more frequently!
Both Centers celebrated Thanksgiving this past week. On Tuesday, DRC-Canton enjoyed a full traditional feast made by the cooking and baking crews. And on Wednesday the DRC-East Crew put together and ate very cool charcuterie boards, played games, and sang karaoke with Kris R. - their special guest.
Just in time for the Holidays - DRC has two merch stores - Bonfire and Printify where you can get all your DRC Swag. What a fun way to support DRC and do your Holiday Shopping.
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