One of the most rewarding parts of working in this environment is being able to build real, meaningful relationships with our students.
We are all “equals but with different responsibilities” (and age as they remind me often).
We get to interact like a real family to practice relationship skills.
That means butting heads a little, getting our feelings hurt and having real conflicts.
But those things are balanced by the growth, connection and enjoyment that comes from attachment in our relationships.
Success and appreciation from resolving conflicts and seeing the hard times through to the good times makes it all worth it.
I want to share some of my favorite times lately:
- Dave cracking a really dry joke
- Teasing Dylan so strait faced that it takes him a minute to smile.
- Amber’s proud face as she presents a finished design.
- Eric walking slowly by my door hoping I’ll call him in to chat.
- Lee calling to say he got his first job ever.
- Watching Dallin coming back from college tired and looking accomplished.
- Seeing Carlos sitting with feedback and saying, “I want to get better at that”.
- Joseph half-trying to act cold and indifferent as he supports another student who struggles.
- Kyler sharing something on the web to make everyone laugh.
These show some of their best sides, their redeeming qualities.
We get to experience these along with the hard stuff.
We know that parents and grandparents are missing out on it, but only temporarily.
To our student’s families and sponsors I would say that these young adults are at TFL to become who they are meant to be so that they can come back to you better.
But while they are here they will be cherished as long as we have the privilege to do so.
-Jason, TFL Executive Director
Reid comes to us from Texas.
He also enjoys playing video games and working out in his spare time.
All of us here at TFL can tell a difference already in his body physique, he is taking it quite seriously.
Reid’s favorite food is Thai and if he had a super power, he would want to be able to fly.
Reid’s goals while at TFL is to gain all the certifications he can earn and to find a job to help support his lifestyle.
We have already taken note of how serious Reid is taking his coding classes and we look forward to see what he is capable of doing this summer in the intensive coding classes.
As the mentor in charge of our student food and cooking committee I often get the opportunity to observe first hand the talent had by our students.
Each week they are responsible to prepare, shop for, and cook a meal for everyone and they do a wonderful job.
They find amazing recipes (not always the easiest ones either!) and they taste good to boot.
Whether it’s jalapeno poppers, beef enchiladas, or some Korean dish no one can properly pronounce, you know we won’t be going hungry any time soon here at TFL.
-Josh, TFL Mentor
Good evening technicians, I’m pleased to announce dinner will ready, piping hot, in 30-40 minutes.
Tonight’s dish is a Mexican Torte.
Fluffy flour tortillas with layers of sumptuous ground turkey, onion, and green peppers, buried under a hearty serving of refried beans and a field of jalapeno buttons.
All this covered by a cozy blanket of tortillas, and crowned with an alabaster helm of pepper jack and queso fresco.
Also: I’m making guacamole!
-TFL Student, Grady
In a place called Snow Canyon, near St George, there is a really cool hike that takes you to some lava
This is the hike we went on at some point in March.
The tubes are set into the ground(of course) and go pretty deep into the earth.
If you want to explore them, you do need a flashlight and a good sense of where you are because,
according to some people, they go in all sorts of directions.
I don’t really if that is true, but it keeps me from hiking too deep into the caves formed by the tubes.
–Lee, TFL student
All the way from North Carolina comes Alec.
Surprisingly, Alec also is a big video gamer (shocker, right?).
Alec reports that his favorite food is definitely a good double cheeseburger.
He would also enjoy having the ability to fly if he could choose one super power.
Alec hopes to gain some independence and marketable skills while he works on coding at TFL.
Alec has a great personality and is enjoyable to converse with when you’re not competing with his video games.
Last week we started learning about databases and how to get started using the most popular open source database, MySQL.
Each student is also well into their personal development tracks for optimal learning and engagement.
I’ve also had the chance to continue to meet with each student one on one and go over how they are doing,
setting goals with them and tailoring their learning track to something they find engaging
while still developing marketable tech skills.
–Erik, TFL Tech Coach