Following the Y mission and not giving up on him, the program staff and I decided to invest in Joseph and his family to let the Kraft Y try to make a change in his life. At our next staff meeting, we discussed how to best serve Joseph and let the great child inside of him find a way to come out for good!
We decided to each take on a specific role:
- I committed to being a strong male role model to teach him how to be a good leader as he grows older.
- Taylor, the site coordinator, committed herself to guiding him through conversations about life, good character and friendship.
- Kelsie, a huddle counselor, decided to use knowledge she had gained through classes in child nutrition and wellness to help him begin a healthier lifestyle and lose weight.
- And Marc, a huddle counselor, promised to use skills he had gained through obtaining a teaching certification to help Joseph get back on track scholastically and improve his grades.
After months of hard work by the staff and Joseph, things started to change. He began making friends. He started participating in games and activities. He began bringing healthier snacks and being more active. Most important, his attitude towards life and others changed for the better. We started seeing Joseph ask to help as a leader in the program. We saw him setting great examples with his behavior for other children in the program. We also saw a happy side of Joseph that didn’t come out before.