Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Power of Giving Back!

The afterschool summer programs continue to be a great hit. Our kids are responding better than ever. There are endless of stories I could share, but today I will focus on that special day when upon my return from morning practice I could not help, but to smile when I saw a package  from the ITA headquaters. "Amory is up to something great!" Once, I opened the package I was in possession of another magical item, a vintage L.L Bean vest.  The first magical item I aquire a year ago was the ITA L.L bean Tote Bag. This bag has made thousands of people smile. My kids and people around town know that if I show up to places  with my Tote Bag something magical happen. 

I could not wait and that afternoon I decided to wear my vest to the Run With ITA! program. As I am done giving instructions on what are we doing that day, one kid after another tells me " I have a vest like that" then proceeded to ask me if I could wait for them so they could sport theirs.
Im impressed by the emotion and excitment this vest  proyected to my kids. My response, "Absolutly..On your marks, set, go!!!" 

 The more I think about the influence we have on our kids, I can not help, but feel honored to be associated with In The Arena and L.L. Bean. Im proud of what we do. I love being that person that connects our kids and their families to the rest of the community and the world. Im happy I can be that person they can trust and feel confortable with. Im glad, at times they want to immitate and be like Zoila.
 There is nothing more rewarding than seeing my kids happy.  Seeing them socialize and enjoy their snacks after a training run is simply beautiful. Their smiles are our smiles.
 In the past 8 years we have seen kids grow. The very first generation of kids we work with are now sophmores in high school. In The Arena and L.L. Bean believe in long lastings relationships. It is my goal to continue mentoring little Marisol and her older brother Armando (Picture Above) My goal is to help them develop in any possible way.

The ultimate goal is to provide our kids with the necessessary tools to face any type of environment. To live quality lives. To be great leaders. To pass on the power of sharing. To help others and be the best the could possibly be. 

Each and every one of our kids have wonderful stories. They feed my heart with magical moments each time we meet. They are genuine, loving and forgiving. They have contributed to my happiness more than they would ever imagined. They keep my heart warm just as this vest will keep me warm and "In The Arena" for many many winters to come. 

Thank You L.L Bean and ITA for giving back and believing in us!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer at Its Best: Love, Live, Run!

When I first met Amory over the phone back in 2005 I knew she was up for something special. I knew she really wanted to help me and others around the world. She wanted to make an impact. In 2006 when she started In the Arena and invited me to tag along I fell in love with her vision and the entire In The Arena ideals. 8 years later here she is playing around with our own ITA kids from Alamosa. Giving them a hand, hug, word of encouragement. She has been behind the scenes doing most of the work to keep ITA going. She has been the one that all this years has believed in me. Without ITA none of the many succesfull stories including my own would not happened. During Amory's time in Alamosa, she got to exprience firs hand the positive impact we are making in our community. She met with old, new, and future ITA generations. Thank you Amory for your vision and endless time and dedication to the organization. We love and appreciate you very much!

We are on our 5th week of our Run With ITA! Program. This year I decided to have more flexibility on our curiculum and let our kids help with the daily program. We meet  3 times a week for an hour to 2 hours depending on the activities. There is no dress code. We are in love with our L.L Bean Tote bag since is from there that we get our snacks. Every day we add something new. I enjoy when kids make suggestions like telling me what to bring for snacks. By the way, Thank you Immigrant Resource Center for funding the snacks. 

Crafting: On Tuesdays, our kids meet with Carmen Stevens and Jessie Rehems. Here our kids are so happy and ready to celebrate Father's Day. Summers were never that glittery, colorful and full of Love!

We are also so excited to have Laura Thompson take over former ITA Volunteer Roxanne Reimer's summer reading program. The advanced Read With ITA program was a great success las summer. Thank You Laura for leading our ITAers to interesting readings and conversational sessions this summer.

Here a special message from our ITAers!