This past week has been filled with a lot of drama with boys. It's been a week of ups and downs. Thank God that their our people in my life to give me great advice and encouragement.
Last month we started our basketball team up again. It's actually 2 teams consisting of a varsity league and a jv league. We have 10 guys on the varsity and 8 on the jv. More than basketball it's a place where we can holistically mentor these youth. It's become very clear to me that the boys I've gotten to know our seniors this year and time is running out before life starts handing out its sentences. What I mean is, if some of these guys don't start taking life a little more seriously than they will just be repeating the mistakes of their parents and following the way of broken homes and children without parents born into a country where anything is achievable.
With that in mind we entered last week. The boys for the most part seemed to be responding to the messages and also to the coaching by our staff. School started and something kicked in the boys head, 3 regulars decided to miss practice without calling, 2 out of 3 even had good excuses. Saturday morning 2 of our varsity and I'd say more mature guys decided to have breakdowns and 1 even decided to quit on the team for the day. This has lead to a suspension and other punishments. Of course the guys weren't the most pleasant to be around after all this occurred.
Now comes the advice part, Sunday, Grams (an 80 year old Phd educator and charter school pioneer)asked how thing were going and I said it's a little tough right now, without going into details. She then begins to tell me to have patience as they didn't just happen to wake up one morning and become broken kids with broken families and it takes time to grow and heal. I than speak with 2 other people whom have been in Urban settings for awhile 30+ years for both and amazingly they both cautioned me to be patient and stay the course. I was lobbying Jeff to do something and even change the curriculum we have planned for this Thursday. To make a long story shorter, Monday night I see a couple of the problem kids and they either apologized to the appropriate person or told me that they were ready to "take their medicine for bad behavior". I was ready to change the plan we had put in place even knowing that we would encounter these tough time. So my prayer is to have patience and realize that it's a marathon and not a sprint I'm running.
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