Felix Gimenez is a 15 year-old sophomore at Carson High School. I met Felix this year towards the end of the summer along with his sister Monica. Felix is a unique character he truly is one of the strongest individuals I’ve ever met in my 30 years on this earth. Felix and I clashed since we first met, we barely could stand each other. Over the past three months, I have watched the club transform Felix from a smart mouthed kid to a communicative young man. Felix has taught me more than he will ever know. One day I hope to truly thank Felix for being exactly who he is meant to be. Many people don’t know Felix’s plans after high school including his own family. After high school Felix wants to join the military for four years. After those four years he plans to get out of the military and go to college. He needs the military to pay for college as Felix’s family financially are not able to support him and his dreams for the future. He is an amazing human being!
- Melissa McKinley (Teen Services Coordinator)
During the new school year, I met Adaline Shaw a 12-year-old girl who was quiet and always sitting by herself in the games room. One day I approached her because she looked like she wasn’t having fun and was ready to go home. So as I was staring one of my classes I asked her if she would like to attend my reach classes upstairs in the education room she responded by saying “yes”. As soon as we got upstairs she was instantly amazed that we had this room upstairs and she asked what we do up here. I began by explaining to her what we do in the education room and that some of these classes help girls with different topics, hands on activities, and I explained a little more in detail about what classes I taught. She began to participate in my reach classes as well as my smart girls and instantly she felt comfortable with the girls and myself. During one of the classes I was talking about what the word ‘value’ means to them and their family. She was one of the first ones to respond and opened up the conversation and began talking about how she is a foster child and how her life has been during these past years I instantly became very intrigued in her and wanted to know more about her and her life and figure out a way to help her confidence, and understand her a little more. She quickly has become very comfortable with me and the other girls who participate, but as soon as she became more comfortable with other girls I noticed she was becoming a little aggressive with some of the girls and being a little rude. One day after my class ended I asked her to stay after class and sat down with her and asked her what was going on. She began by telling me she had been having a bad week because she didn’t want to live with her foster family anymore and she was fighting with them quite a bit. After we talked and conversed about her behavior we were able to be on the same page about having respect for herself and others because she was someone that I enjoyed having in my class and all the other girls liked her being around as well. During the month on October she came to the club and was excited to tell me that she got news from her social worker that she might be getting adopted, but at the same time she said she was scared because she doesn’t know what exactly is going to happened so till this day we both are just taking everything day to day and we keep staying in contact and see each other almost every day to talk about it so she doesn’t have to be in this on her own. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her especially because know she’s continued participating in my classes and is always bettering herself and I like that she feels comfortable talking to me about things that affect her life and that I get an opportunity to mentor her.
- Elizabeth Benitez (Education Coordinator)