“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style”
This is our adopted quote for the new Wednesday night small group that began this week for the THRIVE students. THRIVE has been designed to maintain the community and mentoring relationships for PTM alum who are transitioning in that time after high school graduation into young adulthood. (You can read an earlier blog about this program here)
The time following high school graduation is a critical time for decision-making. Being able to extend mentoring relationships, community and emotional support to include the time when students are searching for what should happen next in their lives is critical to ensure they will be able to find ways to “thrive” and not just to “survive” by being sucked back into the cycle of generational poverty.
Meghan Finn, PTM’s High school and Thrive director, has done a great job of heading up the effort to reach out to our PTM alum. It has been quite the task as they are all in different places in life now. Some in school, some working, three that are parents, most wanting to do more with their life than they are but not sure what that might entail or the steps they need to take to move forward.
Meghan and I went door-knocking to find one past PTM Alum this past Monday night. He expressed his desire to be back in school and find a new church home. He had broken off with some friends, was working and had just been talking to his mom about how he needed to be a part of something. He asked about Mr. Will, Dwight, Tess and Kyle- his role models from his Calvin House days and said how much he missed them. I think we both left with a feeling of, “This is why we need the Thrive program!” He is in the process of now being matched with a mentor.
I am most encouraged by the alumni response and participation. Many have responded that yes, they would like to have a one-on-one mentor with whom they can walk through this time of their life. This is huge- the understanding and recognition that they can benefit from the guidance, wise counsel and friendship of someone older says much about our PTM Alum and also for some great PTM volunteers who are willing to mentor.
Two Thrive small groups have started –The Thrive group for Parents which is presently meeting every other Sunday night at Calvin House and has a two-fold purpose- to strengthen, support and encourage the parents as individuals and to strengthen and educate them as they take on the challenges and joys of parenting.
The second Thrive small group is open to all PTM alum as well as their leaders, mentors and friends. It is Wednesday nights at the Dream Center on Delaware Ave. We had a great first night this week! We are spending these first weeks talking about “Story”- thinking through the impact of our past story but more importantly learning what makes a good future story for each of us. See picture of our first meeting!
Volunteer needs are one-on-one mentors (female at the present time), guest speakers for the small groups on relevant topics, food and snack donations.
If you have any questions or would like to help, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 615-417-8138.