|Ice Skating in Alamosa|
Today I want to share the story of two of our girls from ITA. Both girls have been members of ITA since its beginning (2006). Both of them are 8th graders now. Last year, I did not see much of them at the tutoring program. Little by little they started to distance themselves. They made a few appearances during the year. In many occasions, they came to me mainly for personal advise. We have had those women to women conversations. We would laugh about my teenager stories and doubts. I love the fact they have me as someone they could trust. Yet, I missed their presence as the past six moths were not the same. I only saw them a few times. Part of me, understands it is the age, the phase and only hoped they were heading into the right direction. I also realized teenagers are harder convince, to talk into. All the sudden, my little girls had a voice, a plan, a strategy. They knew what was better for them and joining us in some of our activities was not as exciting anymore.
Well, being a rebellious teenager myself, finally came in handy. I knew that giving up on them was not going to work. So, even when I knew they would deny an invitation, I would go ahead and invite them to our activities again and again. Every time, I see them around I acknowledge them and ask how life, school, family is going. I would say something like: "Im watching" and smile. Two weeks ago, after I came from a long Sunday run I saw my two girls and their friends hanging out at the playground. I approached them and asked " What are you guys up to?" their response "Nothing, bored" Then I proceeded to invite them ice skating. I told them I would leave in 45 minutes and that they were welcome to join. They seemed excited about the invitation, yet no one was to be found 45 minutes later. My heart broke. Then, I had to remind myself that at least they know Im around and I would be happy to take them ice skating some other time.
A week later, I hear the best news of all. Our two ITA teenager girls have joined the basketball team at Ortega Midle Schools and one of them even scored at the game. My heart was full of joy. After my rebellious years as a teenager, I joined the basketball team in middle school and I know that set me up for life. Im so proud and happy for my girls. I know they are on the right direction and I am so happy for them. This situation re-assured me that we should never ever give up on our youth, family, friends, dreams, etc. Even if they only show up one time to our ITA events that is already a WIN. I look forward to continue following their journey and support them the best I can. I am a very PROUD Mentor! I am very PROUD of our girls. Never give up!