Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday's Follow-Up

"A human act once set in motion flows on forever to the great account. Our deathlessness is in what we do, not in what we are."
George Meredith

  • And Still They Rise , Juliana expresses her feelings about the passing of a mother and the emotional growth of the daughter.
  • Thursday's Thoughts , talks about California's state parks and what is happening now with the budget cuts.

The weather is cooler this weekend. Time to get out and enjoy!
La Judy

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

California seeks sponsors for state parks,0,1097002.story?track=rss

Luis Sincon / Los Angeles Times
The remains of a once thriving gold mining community are the main attractions of Bodie State Historic Park. But the ghost town receives mainly seasonal visitors who do not generate enough revenue to keep the park open.

With only 13 of 279 parks and beaches financially self-sustaining, officials are desperate for new sources of funding to keep some of the vulnerable ones from being closed because of budget cuts.
By Louis Sahagun July 30, 2009

State parks officials and nonprofit organizations scrambled Wednesday to find funding and possibly new corporate sponsors to keep as many as 100 parks and beaches open after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger slashed an additional $6.2 million out of the state parks system.Budget cuts also suspended a land conservation program that has been hailed as a key to preventing sprawl and easing economic pressure on farmers and ranchers.

Greenspace: The Times' environment blog
More cuts to California state parks
State officials won't finalize a list of park closures until Labor Day and said they hope to see the parks reopened in one to two years."We are actively seeking anyone who can help us with these places, all of them jewels, at a time when people need them most," said state parks Director Ruth Coleman.

"There are many groups and corporations that will step up to the plate and try to help," said Elizabeth Goldstein, executive director of the California State Parks Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting state parks. "But it would be a mistake to think that these efforts will be sufficient to replace the public funds being extracted."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And Still They Rise

As I watched her, sitting in the mortuary’s pew looking down at her month old baby, she seemed serene… truly at peace. I wondered if she felt relief knowing her mom no longer was suffering, and she no longer had to question why her mother chose drugs over her. She held her baby girl with such pride as she held her up to introduce her to me, not a tear in her eyes. She will write a poem one day, about this day, and maybe then she will cry. But today, she is strong, and she has to be, because she is going to be the mom she never had…

He sits with his shoulders slumped in shame, arms covered in tats, laughing nervously, admitting that smoking helps him not have feelings. He doesn’t want to feel, he explains, it “scares me” he says… “And that is why I come here, because I can talk about what I am thinking and feeling, and then I can go out there with ‘them’ and feel ok”. We make invitations: “Call me when you are thinking about doing something stupid”, “I’ll take you to meetings, and never judge you”, “We can talk about your art, and how that can help you step into your own”… “What do you say?” “I wanna try” he says sitting up.

“Are you nervous?” I ask as we drive to where she will be living for the next 30 days. “Yeah” she says giggling. I tell her I was nervous too when I went into sober living. I ask her when the last time she saw her son, she tells me April. “That’s why I am doing this, so I can get him back”. I remember her as a little girl, getting off of the helicopter giggling with her mentor. It was the first time she had flown; her eyes were lit up with excitement, but old with a lifetime of pain. She was only 12 years old, and she trusted no one. We were going have to pass her test. Today, she is choosing to live, and as I hugged her before I left, I whispered into her ear: “I am so proud of you”. “Me too” she whispered back.

And still they rise....


Follow me on twitter @hoolieboo

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday with Mentor and Mentee - Scott & Jose

"I would like to thank my mentor for being there for me and being a friend that I can count on when I needed him. He gave me advice to have a better relationship with my mom and listened to how I felt about my mom. What I have learned in this program that will help me grow and make a better life for myself is to communicate with others, to understand when someone doesn’t know me, to be respectful, and how to work as a team".


Monday, July 27, 2009


Friday, July 24, 2009

Looking for Internet Savvy Connected People

As Youth Mentoring Connection looks to grow its Online Presence we need some help. Over the next few weeks we are looking for Internet Savvy Socially Connected People to help get our message out there - If you are interested all you have to do is follow this link and complete the form. People that sign up will receive the inside scoop on whats happening at YMC and some tips on how to use Social Networking tools. Everything will then build towards an official launch in mid August,


Friday's Follow Up

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep" Scott Adams.

This weeks seemed to be a very artistic week.

  • Givin' Back tells of a cool Valley bookstore, Tia Chucha's, owned by author Luis Rodriguez and supported by former drummer for The Doors, John Densmore.
  • Thursday's Thoughts tells of the summer program being given, for free, for 30 art students by Self Help Graphics.
I will be going to a free concert this Saturday at the Getty museum. The surf program is this Sunday, July 26th. L.A. rocks!
La Judy

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

Self Help Graphics & Art Seeks Students for Summer Programs

SOY Artista students pictured here are Anabel De La Garza, Paula Esparza, Lidia Lopez, Adrian Ulloa, and Jacob Soto. Photo courtesy Self Help Graphics & Art

Responding to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s cancellation of summer school, the organization scrambled to revive its Summer of Youth Artist Program, (“S.O.Y. Artista”) for high school students, but the kids are not coming.

“We though they’d be knocking down the door,” Executive Director Evonne Gallardo told EGP. “It was a last minute response to what was happening in the community.”

The free program has capacity for 30 students but as of July 17, only four students had joined. The four-week program, from Tuesday to Friday, began July 14 and runs until August 7. The target age is 14 to 17-year-olds.

This week, students learned to make relief prints using the medium of linocut. Next week the students will make kites using their new skills.

On “Wild Card Fridays,” the students will have a surprise workshop relating to the “Hard in Da Paint” hip-hop class. For more information on the S.O.Y. Artista programs and other events visit or call (323) 881-6444. Self Help Graphics & Arts is located at 3802 Cesar E. Chavez Avenue in Boyle Heights.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday with Mentor and Mentee - Kim & Evilet

" I would like to thank Kim for being supportive and taking the time to listen to me when I had something to say, also for taking the time in writing me e-mails, and checking up on me. When I had something personal to talk about, you were there to listen and give me positive advice. During the time that we had to create a poem I learned that I have my own voice and that I can’t let anybody else speak for me. Now I will speak for myself and I won’t let nobody tell me I can’t do it because I know I can".



Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday's Follow Up

"Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home." Bill Cosby
And we welcome Stewart back home any time!

  • Thursday's Thoughts talks about the positive partnering arrangement between David Phoenix and LifeWorks, a non-profit organization that helps youth through housing, education, career and personal development.
The surf program will be held on July 26th and we hope everyone can make it.
Have a great weekend!
La Judy

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

Designing For A Cause

Prominent designer, David Phoenix, is using his talent to enrich the lives of LGBT youth by partnering with LifeWorks, a Los Angeles nonprofit which helps LGBT youth through housing, education, career, and personal development. Phoenix’s personal mentoring experience inspired him to help LifeWorks provide services to a population where 1 in 3 teens seriously contemplates suicide.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Abandonment Issues

I have been racking my brain this past week about what I should write about today. All the while I have been sighing, whining, and being passively aggressive towards one of my favorite people in my life, and why you may ask? Because I am suffering from abandonment issues! So I am going to write about what has been foremost on my mind – my deep sadness of seeing my dear friend Stewart leave YMC.

I will keep this short – that’s for all of you who know how vertically challenged I am – but seriously, as I sit in my office alone, wiping the tears away, I want to honor a man who has shown me the that being a geek is cool, that socialism is infectious, that integrity and chivalry are alive and well, and that no matter how much of an upper lip you have, a sideway hug goes along way!

You bring out the best in all of us… Keep changing the world!

We will miss you….

Your friend


L.A.'s Summer Night Lights Program

A program designed to combat gang violence by keeping lights on until midnight in Los angeles parks finds success.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday with Mentor and Mentee - Jennifer & Daisy

Jennifer, I almost have no words to express how I feel because this bond that we have is unexplainable. I love so much! It’s more than just a friendship its like were soul mates. You were the first person that could see where I was coming from every single time I had a problem. You made me realize that life is too short and we can’t stay stuck in things that don’t even matter and to focus on the big picture! I know you’re love is unconditional and I can’t thank you enough for being the person that you are. You’re caring and loving towards, not only me but the people you love. I thank god for putting you in my life. I love you forever and always.
-xoxo Daisy

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday's Follow-Up

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint', then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" Vincent Van Gogh.

On Tuesday a mentee revealed her feelings about her mentor and the special bond they have together.

Wednesday we were treated to Juliana's insights on her blog "Out of the Darkness Comes The Light" which tells about the strength and courage to have patience.

On Thursday's Thoughts, Crystal challenges us to examine our opinions on graffiti. There are great pictures from the
"Odyssey Warner Bros. Year End Picnic 2009".

We have some fun tips for what to do this weekend for free movies in Pasadena and Sunday is a surf day with our Boarding House Mentors.

Hope you all have a great weekend!
La Judy

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Odyssey Warner Bros. Year End Picnic 2009

Free Film Fridays

Looking for something to do with your mentee on a Friday night? How about a free movie under the stars right here in Los Angeles? The Los Angeles and Pasadena Audubon have just begun their Friday film series and they have two movie nights left before the summer is over.

On July 24th they will be screening three short films on water and watersheds: “Stream Spirit Rising", "On the Arroyo Seco", and the internationally acclaimed "FLOW". On August 28th the Audubon will be screening “The Education of Little Tree”, which is a heartbreaking and proud story of a young Cherokee boy navigating his way through his traditional Cherokee culture and the culture imposed on him through an American Indian Boarding school. I have read the book ‘‘The Education of Little Tree’’ and it brought me to tears. I have yet to see the film but I have been told it does the book justice.

So mentors, come take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to bond with your mentee. Seating is limited so you may want to arrive early. All screenings are in English with Spanish subtitles. Click here to find out the exact location and time of the film screenings.

Thursday's Thoughts

To fight graffiti, LA Council may restrict spraypaint sales

Many people see graffiti as a nuisance, but don't take the time to acknowledge young people's creative talent. If the City Council wants to deter people from utilizing public spaces for their canvass, why don't they begin by increasing funding for more art programs in schools. If students had the opportunity to channel their creativity through art projects, we might be surprised to find the next big hits in the art world.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Out of the Darkness comes the Light

One of the things I am most proud of at Youth Mentoring is our approach. We call it a gift centered approach in which we “see” our young people’s gifts, and understand that sometimes, actually most times, these gifts lie right next to their wounds. And these wounds run deep… so deep at times that they are afraid to look at them much less talk about them. So I have to be patient, not a quality I am known for I will admit. But I do not walk away, no matter what, and eventually, the door opens ever so slowly and cautiously – and I stick my toe in! And I wait.

I have been having a similar conversation with two of my “babies”. One is a young woman I have known for about 6 years, and the other is a now a man who I have known for about 15 years, and they have both held me at arms length while holding on to me fiercely. They always tell me they are “fine” or “okay”, or how “they can handle it” as their eyes punch me in the heart with their pain. And I wait.

Then, she writes me a letter on her graduation, telling me how I always talked to her about letting me in, but I was the only one who she let in – I was the only one she let in…. she explains. How she will miss me when she goes to college. And she loves me.

We are talking about basketball, and how he can’t give it up because it helps him escape, and what he is escaping from, and I listen. He slept that night “real good”.

The light always comes…


Follow me on twitter @hoolieboo

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday with Mentor and Mentee

"I really enjoyed being your mentee and I enjoy having you as my mentor. I really had fun. I loved the places you have taken me. Places I had never been. I really want you to be my mentor like forever, but it is time to say goodbye. You helped me out with school and my grades. You taught me things I never learned. It really seems like you are my best friend, which you are! Thank you for your time. And I appreciate all of the good things you have done for me. This speech is dedicated to my mentor, the best mentor ever".


Monday, July 6, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Why you all up in my business?

Recently I was told about an invitation that one of our young people had posted on AIM for her 18th birthday party, and I was thrown into one of my famous tirades about how it never fails to astonish me how incredibly smart kids can do such incredibly stupid things…. I am paraphrasing, but it was quite specific about “ there will be plenty of alcohol, but BYOW – Bring your own weed or drug of choice.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Now, I am no expert on AIM, by choice, but I do know that it is a form of social networking a la texting, so whatever you post everyone who is in your buddy list will see everything you post… So you really want to put your business out there like that? Why not just call 911 and tell them that you are going to be having a party where there will be a bunch of underage kids engaging in all kinds of criminal activities? How about telling the world about what you are going to do to your boo that night? I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW THIS LITTLE GIRL!

Listen kids, I made a conscious decision to not go on to MySpace, or AIM, so that I would not be all up in your business, but can you please think before you put all of your business out there? Because I may not be the one trying to find out about you! Remember , if I can find out about all of this, so can your future employers! So, before you post anything else, think – would I want Hoolie or my employer to know this about me? If the answer is no…. keep it to yourself, please!

@hoolieboo (follow me on twitter)