A new semester brought new opportunities for three of our Boys Hope scholars, as they took time off from the classroom and spent the first two weeks after their Christmas break serving surrounding communities. With hopes of acting upon the pillar of service that is so vital to the Regis Jesuit experience, senior Jorge and juniors Luis and Darwyn devoted time and effort to service projects close to their heart.
” I love working with all the little kids at my site because I know I can be a positive role model for them and help them succeed in the there future to come. ” Luis
Both Darwyn and Luis chose to utilize their outgoing and energetic attitudes to work with young children. Darwyn had his hands full with three classes of fifth graders at Jewell Elementary, a public school a short walk from his home in Aurora. The time at Jewell helped Darwyn realize the hard work that educators devote to their students, while also getting a chance to go back to his home area and see how far he has come. When reflecting upon his time at Jewell Darwyn noted “sometimes it does challenge my patience with the kids, but they will always put a smile on my face.” Luis was a hit with the pre-kindergarten students at Mile High Montessori in Denver, where he was acquainted with a unique education model. In tune with the discovery-based style of learning that defines Montessori schools, Luis helped with reading and art projects, while also wowing the kids with his signature magic tricks. Both boys loved their time at their respective schools so much that they will be returning to their studies at Regis with plans to visit their old classrooms.
“I picked this service site because I love working with kids. They are amazing to work with and they are so adorable. I usually help them with any subject. Sometimes it does challenge my patience with the kids, but they will always put a smile on my face. Every time I go back it reminds me of when I was in elementary school. Oh how I miss being a kid again!” Darwyn
Jorge enjoyed a unique experience at Praying Hands Ranch, a Christian horse ranch in Parker that offers therapy and support to the handicapped. During his time at Praying Hands Jorge got his hands dirty with physical labor but also grew close to the clients and staff, creating a holistic service project experience. Jorge’s time at Praying Hands was so successful that other Boys Hope Girls Hope scholars will soon be spending time there in hopes of finding similarly significant encounters.
Yovanna, a sophomore Girls Hope scholar, participated in the YMCA’s Youth in Government experience at the State Capitol for three days. This opportunity gave her insight into her dream to become a lawyer.
” I took the role of a lawyer in the Judicial Branch. This was an amazing experience where I learned a lot and which made me realize how being an attorney is very stressful. Although I received a certificate for outstanding lawyer, I could have done better and I will push myself more next time. This opportunity made me realize that I can be a very strong lawyer who is determined to win their case. I have also learned that I don’t want to stay in the state for law. I would want to work nationwide, because I find it more interesting. I would like to be able to help everyone in every way I can, not just the people in Colorado. This experience was very unique, working in the State Capitol was very fun and I met a lot of students from all over Colorado. I would definitely do Youth in Government again; I would like to be a Judge next time, though. Maybe the next time work in the Parliament side. Overall, this was a life changing experience that I am thankful for.” Yovanna
The Boys Hope Girls Hope Academy Program at Aurora Central High (ACHS) is off to a strong second semester start. The program which includes 22 freshman and sophomore students from ACHS began on December the 9th 2013, just in time for the students to have access to tutors before their big mid-term exams. Now that the holidays are behind us, the Academy scholars are back to work, and we have an exciting spring semester schedule developed for them. In addition to our daily after school tutoring support, our scholars have also been granted access to participate in programs with various organizations in the community aimed at presenting the scholars with opportunities that they might not be offered otherwise. Programs such as SaddleUP! Junior Achievement, and financial literacy allow our scholars at the Academy Program a hands on opportunity to learn tangible, real world experiences from various professionals around the Denver Metro area. Along with these programs we have also planned dates for guest speakers, college visits, and summer camps for our students. Our goal with this program is to give our scholars experiences to better prepare them for their college lives.
In other news our ACHS Academy Program will be participating in the inaugural Boys Hope Girls Hope Academy Commitment Ceremony. This event will be held at ACHS on January 25th, and will be similar to the annual event held for the Residential Scholars at the beginning of each year. At this ceremony our 22 scholars will be presenting their individual goals for the year, providing action plans as to how they plan on achieving these goals, and committing themselves to the program and to their futures. We expect a nice turn out, integrating the ACHS staff, family members of the scholars, and everyone at Boys Hope Girls Hope.
Our Academy team, and everyone on the BHGH staff are excited about the partnership with ACHS, and look forward to a continued commitment to the young men and women in this community.