Enjoying Relationships

Relationships…One Of The Most Rewarding Parts Of Working In The Environment Here At TFL

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

Mentoring moment personal

Mentor Moment With Cam…It’s Personal

As mentors we focus on what’s good for the students emotionally and socially.

Usually this revolves around a predetermined schedule of events that the mentors and students agree on.

Sometimes individual needs come up and we wonder what the best thing for the student is, given the new information, and how best to proceed.

Do we try to meet group needs or individual needs?

I think both.

Sometimes the best thing for the individual and the group is to show the group how important individual progress is by focusing on the one student who needs extra support.

At times this comes at the expense of rearranging the schedule, which can be uncomfortable, but we find that most often changes can be made that actually improve progress.

That’s something I like about TFL.

It’s personal.

We work individually on what the best thing is for each student.

Not everybody gets treated exactly the same.

It’s definitely not robotic like that.

I’m finding that assembly line education doesn’t work for our demographic, especially not in meeting emotional and social needs.

Knowing how to improvise to help in the best way possible separates mentors from line staff, and is a skill I really value here at TFL.

—Cam, TFL Mentor

 

Mentors connecting with students

Mentoring Moments- Connecting And Being There For Each Other

We’ve had some great connecting moments these last couple weeks.

All of our students deal with different things, and the greatest thing about mentoring here at TechieForLife (TFL) is that most of the students are able to open up to the mentors about their challenges.

We really start seeing progress as students share their individual personal loads.

For example, one of our students deals with anxiety quite a bit. He’s been really open with the mentors, and we’ve had some success showing him that as a whole, the students and staff here at TFL are committed to consistently and dependably being there for each other.

As a mentor I’ve really enjoyed one on one conversations about progress and needs for improvement with students over dinner or lunch.

I think this provides a great opportunity for us to get away from the program for a minute and just talk in a relaxed, informal environment. –Cambron TFL Mentor

Brittani

Welcome Our New Mentor Brittani Sprunt!

TFL would like to welcome Brittani to our TFL family.

Brittani is a new mentor and we are excited to get to know her better.

She is from South Jordan, Utah and graduated from the best high school ever. (I may be a little biased since that is where I graduated as well!)

Brittani enjoys dancing, cooking and horseback riding.

Her dream vacation would be to cruise the Caribbean.

If she could pick one super power it would be superhuman strength and speed.

Brittani was introduced to her husband by a mutual friend and they have been married for a year and a half.

She and her husband moved down to St. George in August to attend Dixie State University where Brittani is studying Radiology with an emphasis in sonography.  —Kristin, TFL Program Director

Tech Coach Joseph Cowdell

Welcome Tech Coach Joseph Cowdell!

TechieForLife welcomes our new tech coach.

Joseph Cowdell was born in Salt Lake City and raised in Sandy, Utah.

He moved to St. George nearly 20 years ago and hasn’t missed shoveling snow at all.

He has been married 16 years and has three beautiful children.

He recently completed his Bachelor of Science degree at Dixie State University in CIT with Web Design and Development emphasis and a Computer Science minor.

He loves photography and going on adventures with his family.

Welcome to the TFL family Joe!

Autism Symposium Presentation

Our director, Jason Grygla, presented at the 5th annual Autism Symposium held earlier this week in Park City, UT.

The Autism Symposium was created to bring more awareness to the increasing need of services for those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and to facilitate conversations on the most pertinent topics regarding these students and their families.

This symposium highlights top notch treatment approaches and provides insights that continue to aid professionals that serve this population.

Jason’s presentation on “Trends and Initiatives in Transitioning Higher Functioning Autists Into Financial Self-Reliance and Independence” was well received by those in attendance. 

Jason present at symposium