Reason # 24: For a chance to turn struggles into success

 

What I really liked about Street Potential was the people. It was like a family. It was a place for us to be us. It was a very positive environment, which is rare for where we grew up. At Street Potential we didn’t have people on our backs pressuring us to do what they wanted us to do. We got to be who we were and strive to be who we wanted to be. 

The Trinity Boston Counseling Center continues to be a positive support and motivator. Without it and their support, I know I’d be struggling, rather than succeeding as I am now.

~Natho, Street Potential

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Reason # 23: To support the character development and academic success of Boston youth

 Responding to the needs of the teens and youth who live a couple of miles from my house is unavoidable.  I pass through neighborhoods every day and see the challenges that they are up against.  The work of the Trinity Boston Foundation is groundbreaking.  It works in the environments of the youth served; it works with their families and most importantly it helps the teens get on and stay on the path to a college degree.  As I think about my involvement with the Foundation, some things come to mind of which I am most proud:

  • I am most proud of the fact that students leave us with a set of core values that will give them the strength to navigate the inevitable rapids of their lives
  • I am most proud of the fact that almost all go to and stay in college
  • I am most proud of the fact that they leave us with a responsibility to care for their body, their mind and their spirit
  • … and I am most proud of the fact that they leave us with a desire to care for and help others.

The youth who are involved in Trinity Boston Foundation programs, such as TEEP, are a model of humanity at its best and I am so grateful to them for all they have taught me.  In our holiday season I am acutely aware that George and I have gotten way more than we have given.  They will be the leaders of tomorrow and we can all be proud.

Mimi Bennett, Board Chair, Trinity Boston Foundation

Reason # 22: We’ve been challenged

 We’ve been challenged. We have $40,000 left to raise before December 31. One donor has stepped forward with a challenge – if Trinity Boston Foundation raises $30,000 before the end of the year, that donor will contribute the last $10,000. We have 10 days to do this and we think it will take at least 100 donors, with gifts of $15, $150, or $1,500.

Gifts to Trinity Boston Foundation help change the odds for Boston youth.

Here are some highlights of 2011:

  • Trinity Education for Excellence Program (TEEP) served 145 students in the five-week summer program and employed 36 high school and college students—all of whom were graduates of TEEP.
  • 100% of TEEP’s six-year graduates enrolled in college and 100% of TEEP ninth graders enrolled in a college-prep high school.
  • The Trinity Boston Counseling Center served more than 100 clients at Trinity and across the city through partnerships with the Department of Youth Services, Fenway High School, and City Year.
  • 18 youth and 22 adult mentors completed the B.A.A. Half-Marathon as part of the Foundation’s newest program, Sole Train: Boston Runs Together.
  • Bostonians for Youth raised nearly $400,000 to support efforts to end youth violence.

There are ten days to go in our $10,000 challenge to meet our revenue goals for 2011. Will you help?

Please consider making your contribution online or send a check made payable to Trinity Boston Foundation, to 206 Clarendon St., Boston, MA 02116. Thank you!

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Reason # 21: Why I love TEEP

In TEEP, we teach the 5R’s (Respect, Responsibility, Restraint, Reciprocity and Redemption), and for me, two out of the five, Reciprocity and Redemption, have played a big role in my life. Not just during this season, but throughout the year, I was given time: time to be heard, time to express my anger, time to be loved, time to show that together we can survive life’s challenges with families, education, and socio-economic issues. Even when I felt as if I had exhausted all opportunities and had been achieving less than excellence, TEEP’s “window of redemption” never closed on me. I was supported where I stood. The people in my “TEEP family” told me they saw potential. They never gave up, they just kept giving back, sparking in me a drive I didn’t know I had.

We all dedicate time to the things we care about and I hope TEEP is on your “care list.” Changing the odds for inner-city youth happens collectively not individually.

Juan David, TEEP Assistant Director

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Reason # 20: There is so much more we need to understand in order to transcend issues of violence in our city

  In 2004 I began working with young men and women involved in the Juvenile Justice system. At the time I was green to the field with so much to learn. This week, in a meeting with one of our community partners, I was complimented for my knowledge of this population and this type of work. After the meeting I began to reflect on the comment. I have never been good at receiving compliments, but the phrase “my knowledge” stood out to me.  I was reminded of a quote from Thich Nhat Han, “The Buddhist way of understanding is always letting go of our views and knowledge in order to transcend.” Upon reflecting on 2011 I am reminded of the loss we have experienced this year in our work with youth. Too many funerals, too many youth sent to prison. The knowledge I hold is that there is so much more we need to understand in order to transcend issues of violence in our city. So today rather than clinging to a false hope, I am reminded to simply attempt to understand, ask a question and wonder, “What don’t we understand?”  “A discovery is an accident meeting a prepared mind.” We need to discover these issues with fresh perspective.  Are you with me?  We have so much to learn.

-Nate Harrise, MA, LICSW, Clinical Director, Trinity Boston Counseling Center

Reason # 19: Because our mentors are great teachers

Memories made in Sole Train are memories that automatically store in certain parts of my brain that cannot be forgotten. Ever. These memories are more than good times with my fellow runners, but memories that have changed me into the person I am today.

Sole Train mentors are not like other runners who prefer running to music, or in silence, but enjoy running with smiles and words of encouragement. This year, I had the great honor of running with Josh Leffler during the half-marathon. Josh is an amazing runner but more importantly, a great teacher. He’s not like my English teacher who lectures me on how I can improve my critical reading skills. He showed me that a person’s attitude is the true indicator of how much effort the individual is willing to give.

Josh showed me how to be in tune with my environment in three steps. First, to apply myself, and throw my heart and mind into everything that I do. In doing so, it becomes easier to accomplish goals because you enter the arena with a 100, and it’s nearly impossible to fail, unless you allow yourself to be beat. Second, to take advantage of life’s flow. Running up a hill is the most painful part of any course, but coming down a hill, and allowing one’s body to naturally “fall” down the hill makes running downhill a breeze. Similarly, when faced with a difficult challenge, of course it will be hard to complete the challenge, but upon completion, one is able to relax, and enjoy the happiness of satisfaction. And third, to better understand the power of listening.  Listening to the footsteps of other runners helped me learn that we aren’t all running at the same pace, and we aren’t all running for the same times. But we are all running to the same archway with a great banner atop it reading “FINISH”. Life is not the same for every person, we each have our own goals and our own limits, but in the end we all strive to reach the finish line, we all strive to find salvation, we all search for the nine letter word, happiness.

Nickie Cheung, 11th grade, TEEP Leadership Development Program & Sole Train: Boston Runs Together

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Reason #18: By giving to Boston youth, you are blessed in ways unexpected

I usually enlist in Trinity Boston Foundation’s volunteer efforts because I’m drawn to the Foundation’s mission. I signed up for Trinity Public School Partners because I’d do almost anything to help improve the failing Boston Public Schools. What I didn’t anticipate was the great adventure I’d have helping 8th grade boys from theDearbornSchool in Roxbury prepare for the English MCAS exam.

I was braced for a rough time, largely because I’d seen a close friend dissolve in tears each fall before returning to her middle-school classroom. But instead of a group of unruly kids who balked at doing the work, my colleagues and I found very talented and highly motivated students—Nvagamo (“V”), Hasaan, Jeremiah, and Patrick who not only “got” the subject matter but challenged us to push them ahead. Over the six week period, we came to know and love this terrific group of kids, acquired greater insight into the obstacles they face day-to-day, and improved our street smarts in the process (Don’t be surprised to see skinny jeans making a comeback!). I’m thankful to have found such an exhilarating way to start the weekend.

 ~Beverly Merz, Trinity Public School Partners

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