2013 Year End Update – It Begins!

Greetings Donor Family!

We are very encouraged with how the mentoring program is going.  All five guys in the mentoring program are on track to graduate high school (bigger deal than it sounds).  It also looks like we might have college tuition paid for the first three guys as well (just as big a deal as it sounds).

 

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Shy:
There is never a dull moment when Shyheem ‘Shy’ (on the left) is around.  Full of energy and life!  Shy’s mom died this year of unnatural causes and he only sees his dad a couple of times a year.  In spite of that, Shy is playing basketball for Garfield high school, is in the Keystone leadership program at the Boys & Girls club, and was selected as Youth of the Quarter at the club too.
Grades: Nothing below a C right now.
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Toree:
Thanks to a generous donation, last summer Toree got to go to SuperCamp in Chicago at Loyola Marymount University for 10 days.  SuperCamp is an excellent academic and life skills camp.  Maybe the most powerful impression was just being on a college campus for that long.
Grades: C average.  Staying after school to get his two Ds up.
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Malcolm:
On my urging to try something new Malcolm (on the right) transferred to an alternative school this year and it has made all the difference.  His freshman year (he is now a junior) he talked openly about dropping out of high school and what jobs he could get.  Now he is talking about which college he wants to go to.  Malcolm was also selected as Youth of the Quarter for the Boys & Girls Club.
Grades: His school does not do ‘grades’ but his counselor assures us that he is on track.
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Michael:
It was a year of extreme highs and lows for Michael. He had to change foster homes and schools three times in the first few months of the school year. Now, however, he is in the home of his potential adoptive parent. Very cool.
Grades: All A’s and B’s except for one D. When I first met Michael he had all Es. So proud of how far he has come under challenging circumstances.
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Kenny:
Last year Kenny (on the left) had all Es at one point. Now he has all As and Bs.  It is incredible to watch a life change before your eyes. He still has some significant hurdles to overcome but he is starting to point the large ship of his life in the right direction.

Grades: All As and Bs.

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Aaron:
Aaron is our NEW mentor!  Over the past year he joined us on fun group weekend outings and was such an asset!  This year we will pay him to be a mentor while he pursues his own education and he will start with one mentee. He did his first two years at Bellevue Community College and has now been accepted to Seattle Pacific University.  We are PROUD to have Aaron be our second mentor!
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Thank you so much for your support this past year.  You are helping break the cycle of poverty and are changing generations!

Please consider giving a little extra as this year comes to an end.  Here are some unmet budget needs.
Breakfasts costs: $540.
Weekend outing costs: $600.
College visit: $2,000.
SuperCamp expenses: $3,800.
Car for Aaron (new mentor)

Personally (the very short version) we got married, moved, had a summer of house sitting adventures while we were ‘homeless’ and house hunting, bought a house in the Rainier valley to be close to the youth we serve, put the kids in a new school, Rebecca changed jobs, and I left the Boys & Girls Club after seven years of employment there.  Just a couple life tweaks.

Many blessings ~ Rick and Rebecca

Pictures from the year!

2013-1Weekend Water Skiing

2013-2Malcolm and Aaron at Family Fun Center

2013-3

Toree and I at a Husky Game

2013-4Airplane ride for the two highest GPAs from last year.

2013-5Indoor Sky Diving

2013-6Summer club outing to the beach.

2013-7

I flew to pick up Toree on his last day in Chicago.

Please keep us in mind for fun things to do throughout the year.

Make 2014 a great year, everyone!