Thursday, January 28, 2010

Friday's Follow Up

"A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge." Thomas Carlyle

Tony's Blog: How a white man goes into the hood
Tony answers the question posed to him by a corporate executive: how does a white man go into the hood?

Tuesday with Mentor & Mentee - Charles & Josh
Josh thanks his mentor Charles for teaching him how to communicate with others.

To Beto
Juliana shares about the exceptional relationship between mentor Galan and his mentee. By being consistent and showing up, Mr. Galan and Beto develop a lasting relationship.

Seeing Green in South LA
Tori Ann Johnson uses her blog to document her efforts to bring more "green" to her South LA neighborhood. Please read her article.

Please take a moment and go to our website. Become a mentor and change two lives!
La Judy

Paramount -- What's My Gig?

Seeing Green in South L.A.

Seeing Green in South L.A.

The importance of investing in a more green economy and sustainable living environment is vital for our communities. In many ways, the issues that plague our communities seem to be the polar opposites of any “green” issues but they are definitely related. Providing people with the opportunity to become involved in their communities enhancement is a sure way to help people become conscious of the importance of such issues. Along with that, activities such as tree planting can allow young people to be a part of the greening process and it creates a space for them to know that they too can effect their community in a positive way. There are plenty of people like Toni Ann Johnson who see the importance in making our communities more eco friendly. Other than providing an aesthetically pleasing view for us, the trees in front of Ralph’s Super Market remind us that there is still a lot of work to be done to help our communities grow. As Toni mentions in her interview, the director of Ralph’s did not make the process easy but her persistence and dedication were vital in the struggle and only with qualities such as those will our communities begin to grow into their full potential. Obviously, the push for a more green sustainable economy and environment goes beyond tree planting, but events such as these are definitely a push in the right direction and I hope to hear that the tree planting initiative around Los Angeles along with other green initiatives will involve our young people who really are the ones who will keep all of these movements going.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

To Beto

To Beto

Who are you?

You are the voice on my voice mail that says “what’s up?”

Who are you?

You are the courage that leaves your home each day into a world that does not welcome you

Who are you?

You are the writing on the wall that appears under a street light on an abandoned gas station

Who are you?

You are the one who reminds me to be thankful for what I have and all I have achieved

Who are you?

You are strength and courage and love… you are my bud.

Edwin Galan - Mentor

When I first met Beto, he would come into my office and just look at pictures on my wall. He wouldn’t say much, occasionally remarking on someone he recognized – “oh I know him – he’s friends with my brother” . “There go my sister – she was in your program. She says I should be in it”. I took the bait – “She did? Well, we would love to have you in our program… “

It took a minute. See, Beto doesn’t trust people that easily. But he kept coming into my office, looking at pictures, with his back to me, talking about people he knew…” he just got out of jail”… Finally he accepted my invitation, and he joined mentoring.

Edwin wasn’t Beto’s first mentor, and at first, I wasn’t sure how this was going to work. Beto hated school, and Edwin is a teacher - an unlikely match.

Beto, tortured Edwin with silence, and Edwin kept showing up. No matter what Beto threw at him, he kept showing up…

With patience and an open heart, Edwin started chipping away at the wall Beto had used to keep all of us out.

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to Beto about another mentor in the program who is very popular with the kids, and Beto in his booming voice told me “I wouldn’t change Galan for nothing – he is the best mentor there is”

I know sometimes our mentors don’t get to hear, or experience the difference they are making in our young people’s lives, but I do.

I remember that oversized kid, who couldn’t look at me. Whose wounds would cut so deep that he had to walk away for long periods of time, just to make sure we weren’t going to leave him first, and then come back a little softer, a little more willing to trust.

These are my heroes… The mentors who see our kids, and our kids who let us see them.

Be a mentor – change two lives.