As I mentioned in one of my last blog entries, I was able to go with an Another Road to Safety agent (which are like the CPS) on a home visit. On that home visit I met with a mother and her two sons. The oldest son was very disruptive during conversations we had and would constantly do what he could to influence his younger brother to act up as well until they were able to crack their mother and make her have a melt down. They did not seem to have any structure in the home and they were restless, getting into whatever they could and anxious to get outside and play. Since we were going to start having a summer camp at the Prescott Joseph Center we urged the mother to sign her kids up. This was done intentionally to get more children signed up but also to get the kids out of the house for a couple of hours so that the mother could have her “me-time” and be relaxed enough to handle her children when they got home.
Today at work I passed by one of the classes ran by the summer camp and the oldest son I visited spotted me and greeted me. It was really nice to be able to see him again and in a different setting, outside of home. When I was talking to him I asked how he was doing in the program and if he was enjoying himself. I was flabbergasted by the respect he showed and the way he spoke to me. He was a complete sweetheart. Maybe I am just soft hearted but after talking to him I started tearing up. He presented himself like a whole new boy. At home his mother mentioned her concern of him getting kicked out of the summer program because he had been kicked out of school a couple of times and was expected to misbehave.
At the program he looked so happy, he had the face of an angel and it really made me so happy to see him doing so well. It made me believe that a real change could be made in these children for the better when they are provided with the right attention and the tools for success. I think that a huge problem is the degrading these kids might get from family members and the people around them. A lot of times if people around you aren’t doing well for themselves they don’t want you to be better then them so they do what they can to keep you down. I think that with the right encouragement children can find their own way to self- empowerment. It is one of the most beautiful things to see the progression and success of youth in neighborhoods like these. To see that they can overcome the odds. They have all of the energy and power to be amazing people, they just need good influences and people who truly believe in them.
It is really self- fulfilling to live here and watch all of these positive things happen.