Coaching Kids, Inc. Newsletter
In this issue
• My Experience with Coaching Kids by O.P.
• Strong, Smart, and Bold Girls – Reaching Across the Ocean By
• Upcoming Coaching Kids’ Projects
• Volunteers by Reuel Hunt
My Experience with Coaching Kids by O.P.
Does anyone else remember growing up and wanting to “change the world?” I remember setting ridiculous goals for myself, just to say that I did something to make SOMEBODY’s life better. And I remember that anytime somebody questioned us “future world- changers,” I’d simply respond “just you watch.” And suffice it to say, after working with Girls Inc. and Coaching Kids, I may not have changed the world, but I certainly feel that I’ve made a journey worth watching.
I have to admit, it is amazing how many things you learn when your mind is dead set on teaching. Walking into Girls Inc for the first time I had no idea what to expect, but I knew that somewhere along the way I’d have my chance to share with these girls all that I’ve learned and maybe one day make a difference in their lives.
Ironically enough, I wasn’t even close to telling them my name before they changed mine.
Some would call it “expected” and a trite twist of fate, but when it happens to you, it truly takes your breath away. It is a strange feeling, to say the least, to walk into a room and realize that in one way or another each one of these girls helped change who you are. I’m not going to lie, the first time I ever walked into one of the Coaching Kids classes, I was a bit overwhelmed. From the second you enter the room to the second you leave, dozens of little eyes are staring at you and waiting for your next move. And if you don’t know these girls, it’s an absolutely terrifying experience.
But these girls are all one of a kind. With their own amazing sense of individuality and a uniqueness found only within them, they have managed to come together and embrace each other as sisters. It’s corny, I know. But it’s not something that happens too often in our modern-day, less-than- idealistic world. It’s not too often that we, as a society, can observe people embrace each other without prejudice or discrimination. It is a very rare thing now, no matter how much we deny it, and the fact that these girls can come together as one, regardless of their age, race, and religions is something that we can all look to for inspiration.
When I was first offered the opportunity to write this article, I saw it as a chance to tell everyone “how cool coaching is.” But as the article progressed, I realized that the wonderful benefits and complexities of coaching present themselves. It’s obvious in the way a “coach” will speak, and you will hear it in their voice. You will see it in their walk, and witness it in the girls’ eyes. Coaching isn’t just a “career,” or even a mere job choice. It is a passion that these people have chosen to pursue in, and change lives in the process.
Writers are supposed to write about what they know. And if there is one thing I do know, it’s this: they’ve changed mine.
Oanh Pham Age 18 Assistant to Coaching Kids, Inc.’ “Coaching Skills for Girls” at Girls Inc.-Denver “Oanh Pham is an 18 year old Vietnamese girl who used to live in an apartment near me. We became friends and she volunteered to do some administrative work for Coaching Kids, Inc., including assisting with the Girls Inc. classes. A little background on Oanh: her father escaped on the last helicopter out of Saigon at the end of the war, and five years later reunited with Oanh’s mother and sister – the sole survivor of twins – in America. They eventually ended up in Colorado, where Oanh just finished high school in July. We are proud of our volunteers like her.” Reuel J. Hunt
Strong, Smart, and Bold Girls – Reaching Across the Ocean By Reuel Hunt
Coaching Kids, Inc delivered 4 programs to the girls at Girls Inc., over the last twelve months. Their motto is “Building Strong, Smart, and Bold Girls”. This summer’s program was eight weekly – 90-minute classes with 28 girls. We taught the girls about MIRROR LISTENING skills, their VALUES and how theirs might be different than those of their friends and families. We taught them how their PERSPECTIVES about HOT ISSUES in their lives right now, might be different from those of their close friends, and how they might look at that differently. They included such topics as abortion, teenage sex, gays, the death penalty, the war in Iraq, and drugs. Then we had a class on CHOICES.
We had the girls look at choices they have made (or are about to make) that were or were not in alignment with their values and perspectives. And we had them look at what they based their choices on when they were in alignment with their values and what they based their choices on when they were not in alignment with their values. Procrastination and fear came up in that discussion. We asked them what would need to be different for more of their choices to be in alignment with their values. We had them create a big circle and pair up and do more coaching one-on-one, coaching each other on specific choices they will have in the near future and how to have their choices be what they want them to be.
One of the things that came up was that often times their choice options were in conflict with different values. We talked about them calibrating which value to have their choices more in alignment with. Some have a real value of having fun, being adventurous and often times that is in conflict with friendship, family and education. Other pressures to make different choices included hormones, urges or peer pressure.
We also had a class on INTUITION and two on VISIONING – including a front page newspaper article in the future, that they write about themselves.
These young ladies have become pen pals with young ladies in the back country of East Africa – Tanzania and Kenya. The young ladies in East Africa are going to high school because they are sponsored by individuals in this country and others through Global Partners www.globalpartners.com. Also, the Girls Inc. girls are selling blue wrist bands that say “Let All Children Be Heard” to raise money to support their pen pals.
Presently, the turn around time on the pen pal letters is weeks or months. So, employees at Microsoft have volunteered to write a secure web site to create an online chat room/message board where the girls from East Africa can chat with the girls from inner city Denver, Girls Inc. A few of them have internet access and most do not, so we are working on two new computer centers with IBM, one in Kenya and one in Tanzania – stay tuned. Reuel J. Hunt www.CoachingKids.org
Upcoming Coaching Kids’ Projects
The Douglas County School District has requested Coaching Kids Inc to put together a coaching skills class for parents to begin next semester. This is our first opportunity in the local school district and has great potential. Proposal was delivered August 25th.
We are proposing a program at a local Juvenile Prison – Ridgeview Academy – designed, built and operated by Rite-Of-Passage. It houses 500 boys age 14-18, and is a part of the State of Colorado juvenile justice system. It has a top academic high school, top competitive sports with the other high schools in the state, and 7 vocational schools (we held a fundraiser there in 2003 where the boys in the culinary school cooked for and served all the guests – as a part of their training). The proposal includes:
- Coaching skills classes for the boys and for their parents in the evenings at the facility.
- One-on-one coaching for the boys and for the parents for 3-5 months prior to their release and continuing to coach them after they return to their community for another 6-9 months, and conduct monthly coaching group meetings, for the kids and for the parents, to support the kids and parents in effective communication skills, coaching skills, understanding values, etc.
- For the more advanced boys, we would create a program to teach them to be peer or mentor coaches, creating coaching circles.
- A new program has just started for girls in a near by facility – start similar programs for them.
We are proposing to partner with Colorado Youth- At-Risk. They take 75 kids (9th graders) from two high schools – at both ends of the social scale – up to the mountains for a one week retreat, including high ropes courses. Then they assign one of their trained “Mentors” to each kid for the school year. I have worked with some of their most seasoned mentors and I believe that coaching skills training will benefit them. They also hold a gathering once a month to support and reinforce the learning from the retreat. Our proposal is to create a coaching skills class for the 75 Mentors, for the 75 kids, and for the parents that are interested. Then we would offer one-on-one coaching for the parents while the kids are being mentored by the CKI trained mentors. We would also include the staff in the coaching skills classes.
From this will come the creation of and need for:
- Coaching Skills For Mentors, Staff and Teachers workshops
- Coaching Skills For Parents classes
- Volunter Coaches for a number of parents
- Volunter Developers for the workshops and classes
- Volunter Leaders for the workshops and classes
Volunteers by Reuel Hunt
I want to thank the Coaching Kids’ Volunteers – in four years together we have created an organization that is and will help many kids have a positive impact on themselves and in the world. I have been managing many positions, including volunteers. We are expanding and growing in many areas – including partnerships and alliances, programs, funding, and chapters in other cities. We just hired a Professional Grant Writer – one of the best in Colorado – (she is on contract to create a fundraising plan, including a calendar of grant deadlines, write some grants due now, create templates we can use in the future, and help us design an overall funding strategy.
And. we have a new Volunteer Coordinator, Laura. She will be following up and staying in contact with the volunteers. We will be looking at each volunteer’s skills, commitment, desires and passion matching those to the roles needing help.
So, if you have wanted to play and have gotten stalled, see a place you want to volunteer, or just want to get connected and talk with me about where you might best fit, email Laura at Laura@CoachingKids.org.
Over time we will be needing volunteers in the following roles, some areas need volunteers right now, and there will be others as we grow:
- Train-the-Trainer Coordinator
- Trainer Coordinator
- Creation of Course Curriculums
- Train-the-Trainer Curriculum Development
- Grant Writers
- Fund Raising Coordinator
- Volunteer Coordinator
- Fund Raiser Event Planner
- Newsletter Editor
- Writers for the Newsletter
- Public Relations & Media Relations
- Web Site
- Database Maintenance
- Filing, Phone Calls
Coaches, Especially Certified Professional Coaches, that want to work with kids and parents.