Cody had many choices he could have made along the way to age 17. So far he’s made good choices each time. He had a choice to tune out school and reject learning. He stayed out of school for a brief time then decided it was not for him. Cody went back to school plugged away at his studies and acquired some skills as he waited to enter the Job Corps.
He had a choice to run the streets and get into trouble and he chose to do that for a brief period then he rejected that choice and learned to volunteer his time and talents helping kids and adults in the Kent Youth & Family Services Outreach Program.
He had a choice to “just hang”, but instead he pursued and – within one year – achieved a credential in carpentry, his GED and his Drivers License from the Job Corps. He did all this before his 17th birthday. Now those were good choices!
When he didn’t get a carpentry job right away, Cody could have chosen to become negative and blame the world for his bad luck. Instead, he made the choice to persevere and the last week of October he was hired as a crewmember with the Synergy Construction Company. This company is doing the demolition work at Springwood in order to make way for the new, improved Birch Creek housing project.
Cody has made good choices so far and there is no reason to think this pattern he has established for himself will change.
I check in with him every week to see how he is doing and what’s new in his life. My mentor job was not over when he met a few of his goals. I’m here for the long run to keep giving Cody my support and understanding. My husband and I will continue to give him small rewards as he meets his goal stepping-stones.
Cody’s choices: we can all learn from this young man.
Gloria Vanzo is a Mentor and Outreach Program Coordinator for Kent Youth and Family Services. She is one of our talented staff members who work tirelessly to ensure that children and families have opportunities to learn, grow, and achieve their dreams.
“Watson Manor made a big difference in my life. It provided a safe place for my girls and me to get on our feet, got me back into school and connected me with resources I didn’t know about. It taught me how to be a good parent and a more responsible person.”