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
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
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
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