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Resiliency and Rollerskating

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It’s hard to believe that B-READY 2013-2014 has come to an end! Our days were filled with so many fun activities, conversations, and lessons that the year just flew by. Upon reflecting on my year, one word in particular sticks out to me: progress.

unnamed-1Day to day, one might miss changes, but upon looking back to the beginning of the year, it is incredible to see how much progress the students, as well as staff and volunteers, have made. First grade students that came in unable to read can now read books on their own with excitement. Third grade students are now masters of multiplication. Students who did not know each other at the beginning of the year are now great friends. Teens who were nervous in leadership roles now step up with confidence and enthusiasm. The list goes on and on…

It’s easy to avoid progress because with progress comes challenges. Learning new concepts is difficult. Making new friends can be scary. Being a leader is intimidating. However, I believe youth have a unique bravery when it comes to facing challenges; they jump into new experiences with hope and passion. This attitude is something I have taken so much inspiration from over the past year. Even when they fail, which is often inevitable when trying something new, they bounce back quickly and strongly. They are resilient. Youth seem to especially understand the quote that is written on the St. Stephen’s playground: “Without struggle there can be no progress.” To me, this quote sums up resiliency. With resiliency, one understands that struggle is going to happen. What matters is what we do with that struggle.

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Now where rollerskating comes in… During the last week of B-READY we took a trip to Roller World. Before going on the trip, I was excited but also pretty nervous. I have never been particularly adventurous or particularly coordinated, a bad combination for rollerskating. I assumed that some of the youth might have the same attitude as me and be too scared to try rollerskating. However, once we got there everyone threw on their skates and darted for the rink. Even youth that had never roller-skated before were undaunted. I have never seen so many kids falling down. There were two first grade girls in particular who fell down one average once per minute. Again… I figured some youth might give up and sit down. However, not one student did so. Everyone laughed as soon as they fell down and got up immediately, ready to try again. It was resiliency at its finest. I was so inspired that I even threw a pair of shoes on a jumped in the rink. I did indeed fall a few times, but I simply laughed, along with many of youth who found it hilarious that their lead counselor didn’t know how to skate…

Rollerskating may not seem like a big deal, but I have seen the attitudes that the youth had in the face of struggle carry over to so many other aspects of life. I am so grateful for all of the incredible people I met this year at B-READY and the lessons I have learned from them. Now I can’t wait to see what B-SAFE has in store!

Posted by Jillian Poché, Academic Coordinator and Lead Counselor at St. Stephen’s
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