The canyoneering trip was an experience I’ll never forget.
It was an optional activity that me, Dallin, and Grady went on with Cam in Yankee Doodle canyon.
Once we started, it was impossible to climb back out the way we started, so we got to really push our limits.
There was hiking, climbing, rappelling, chimney-crawling through slot canyons, wading, and even some swimming.
The canyon was beautiful, and there were lots of purple flowers blooming.
It was warm outside, but the water was freezing cold.
I was exhausted physically and emotionally by the end, but it felt great to have accomplished it.
—Amber, TFL Student
We toured two local companies; InfoWest and MetaShield.
InfoWest is a pretty sweet company, the atmosphere there was friendly and relaxed.
We got to see their help desk room as well as their server room.
Anyone with a background in Information Technology would agree that they feel at home when entering their help desk room.
MetaShield is a company that creates advanced coatings for materials like glass.
We got to see their chemistry room where “all the magic happens.”
We also got to see their highly advanced, scientific, machinery that’s used to measure various different properties of whatever coating they’re testing.
—Reid, TFL Student
We had a great time out at the Red Cliffs hike recently.
There was a lot of runoff, which created some beautiful clear pools of cold water that only
Grady dared swim in.
Amber, Dylan and I hiked in further while the rest hung out at the first pool.
We had to pass a rocky obstacle using some rope to avoid falling into the pool of water below.
It was kinda tricky, and a lot of fun.
—Cam, TFL Mentor
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
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