Refocusing for new year

Refocusing, This New Year Marks Another Switchback

As I’ve reflected on this past year, our students’ paths to progress have reminded me of the approach to the world famous hike, Angels Landing, in Zion National Park. It’s called Walter’s Wiggles.

Enjoying the view on top of Angel's Landing at Zion National Park
Enjoying the view on top of Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park

Going straight up the clifflike approach to Angels landing would be treacherous and intense. Personal safety equipment including ropes and harnesses would be required even for highly experienced hikers, and even then, ascension would be exhausting. So, in order to help all hikers safely reach the top on their own, the park service cut Walter’s Wiggles into the mountainside.

This series of 15 switchbacks corrects and re-corrects hikers’ lateral direction back and forth across the cliffside in order to maintain a manageable grade and ultimately bring them to their vertical destination. It’s a slow and steady way to hike, but it eliminates dangerous falls and helps hikers get to the top safely without mountaineering know-how.

This is what TFL has consistently offered our students over the last year: accommodation and direction.

We have broken down the intense climb of reaching independence, and multiplied it into many smaller, more manageable paths. Each time your students’ paths changed direction this year, they rose a little higher up the mountain. Kudos to them! Great work!

This new year marks another switchback, one of refocusing.

Letting life, emotions, and other external circumstances direct their choices and habits has been a common and painful pattern for our students. They often find themselves choosing the path of least resistance and having fewer opportunities as a result. Eventually they get stuck, and some sort of intervention is needed. For many of them, that process was a key factor in your decision to help them find independence at TechieForLife. For us, that’s why we make consistent adjustments to our individualized approaches. The big adjustment this year is living on purpose.

Consistently and purposefully choosing what they will accomplish in a day, how they will grow, and what habits they will form is a key part of success for our students and a requirement for independent living.

To help them reach that milestone, we’re introducing the following:

  • Morning Connections
  • Schedule Improvements
  • Monthly Themes
  • Enhanced Mentoring
  • Revised Electronics Policy

We are excited about 2019! We look forward to hiking up more switchbacks this year as our students press towards greater heights. The best part of Angels Landing is getting to the top. We’re confident that our students will discover the same thing about reaching independence.

-Cam Sherman, TFL Program Director

teach-ability

Teach-ability- Quality of a True Leader

I’m really liking the idea that teach-ability is a quality of a true leader.

I’ve noticed that those students who exhibit a desire to learn and a willingness to seek and respond to suggestions from others really accelerate the rate at which they improve.

I think this is important in any position, but it seems to be especially important in a mentoring position.

Mentors need to be pros at seeking and responding to feedback.

We need to be able to seek it from our employers and supervisors, as well as from our mentees.

Making this behavior a part of ourselves truly creates real leadership.
— Cam, TFL Mentor

Experience Kanarra Creek

Experience Kanarra Creek Through Our Student’s Eyes

Kanarra creek is an invitation to witness the wonders of creation.

Carved into the red rock of the desert mesa, one cannot help but intuit they stand in the narrow aisle of a vast house of worship.

Beneath your feet run the baptismal waters of the creek itself, above your head for tens of feet is the twisting walls of the canyon, carved into creamy undulations and myriad pockets, dips, nooks, and crannies.

All around you are parishioners of every shape and size.

Humans from all over flock to hear the water’s gospel, and trees hand out green pamphlets that tickle as you walk past the crowds of shade trees.

If can approach with an open heart and open mind it’s not just a short day hike, it’s an experience.

— Grady, TFL Student

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Good laughs at Sand Hallow Reservoir

Had Some Good Laughs at Sand Hallow Reservoir

During our trip to Sand Hollow Reservoir,

I felt the first real connection with my new Techie For Life family, and it made me proud to be a part of TFL.

We brought Roo (TFL’s emotional support dog) along, and he seemed to be having a blast, although he shivered a lot.

Cam helped some people move a giant inflatable flamingo across the reservoir.

We had some good laughs, and I feel like everyone seemed a bit more themselves than I had previously seen.

I like to think everyone else got to know me a little bit better as a result.

I definitely felt like I got to know Joseph better after we drove back.

—Astrid, TFL Student

graduating

Graduating- Students Advancement Ceremony

We had an amazing certificate and advancement ceremony for five graduating students.

Amber, Dylan, Dallin, Eric and Lee all have moved on to great things!

We are so proud of their progress, work and successes.

Each have created a successful path forward and are rocking it!

We will miss them and hope they will come back to visit often.

We never know when a student starts where they will land; finding themselves and working through roadblocks leads often to new paths and possibilities.

We have tried to ensure that each student finds their landing place as a destination school more than a transition school.

Congrats to our students and supporters who have all worked so hard!

—Jason, TFL Executive Director

Understanding credit cards

Life Skills Class With Kristin, Topic- Credit Cards

In one of our recent life skills classes we discussed credit cards.

Credit cards can have benefits if used successfully without getting into financial difficulty, but…

it requires good management and good understanding of how credit cards work.

We were able to discuss credit card terminology,

the pros and cons of credit cards,

how minimum payments are calculated,

how paying only the minimum payment will result in maximum cost,

we also covered how credit scores are calculated and credit score ratings.

It was interesting to see how much prior knowledge the students had – or in most cases – did not have regarding credit scores and credit cards.

–Kristin, Program Director