Carlos Voted Student of the Week
At TFL’s weekly Student Committee lunch meeting, we vote on a new student of the week:
“Carlos has always been a great friend to me as well as the other students.”
“Carlos has started a new path. After getting a foundation in coding he decided to pursue a course a as Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA.) Carlos loves psychology and cares deeply about people and always strives to do his best.”
“Carlos has always been very kind to me and really funny.”
“Carlos helped me do the dishes the other day when my cooking partner was gone.”
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.
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.
Welcome to Carlos!
Carlos came to TFL at the end of January.
Carlos enjoys playing video games in his free time.
He enjoys food in general but could totally go for Saag Paneer (maybe we’ll have him make it sometime for us here).
If Carlos had a super human power it would be super strength, so he could crush his enemies.
Hopefully he is referring to the enemies in his video games and not anyone at TFL.
While attending TFL, Carlos hopes to find his career path, something that can move him forward.
Carlos is a great asset and we love how willing he is to participate in class and group.
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.
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