Friday, April 18, 2014

Compassionate Presence

We must never underestimate the role of compassionate presence in the lives of Aliquippa students.  At Aliquippa Impact win the like to say, "90% of what we do is show up."  For youth who are participating in our programs, we do just that - "show up" - again and again and again.

We show up at their homes to see their families.  We show up their schools to check up on them.  We show up at basketball and football games.  We show up at the programs we provide week in and week out.  We show up when a young person experiences crisis.  And yes, we show up on the streets as young people feel the pull of negative behaviors.  Wherever young people are in Aliquippa, there we are too.  Our mentors, cohort leaders, and youth workers are constantly being a compassionate, listening, encouraging presence in the lives of youth from week to week. 

Our staff is not just sitting in a community center or office.  We are out in the streets - being a positive influence where we are given opportunity.  And slowly but surely, this "showing up" gives us the trust, space, and voice to speak truth into the lives of youth people.  The truth we speak is the truth of hope.  Our showing up is a protest to hopelessness and the seeding of hope into hearts. 

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