The Dam recently published a newsletter for Spring 2013 focusing specifically on mentoring. I was asked to write a piece for the cover which I thought I would share here as well.
Hope you enjoy!
My mind went directly to my friend Lee and her family who I knew were in Boston so that Lee could participate in the Marathon. Lee had been an important mentor to me when I was a teen, one of the adults who treated me with respect and like an equal... that's so important.
When I finally had an opportunity to text, I first went to Facebook and saw what I was looking for; at the top of my news feed was a post from Israel, Lee's daughter, informing everyone that they were all okay.
I hear so many sad stories.
Stories of abuse. Stories of heartbreaking loss. Stories of people who have, in one way or another, experienced hurt.
Sometimes I think that is what eventually connects us all; our pain.
However, in the telling, each sad story becomes a story of possibility.
When I share my pain I am declaring, "I will not believe the lie that I am alone."
Just wanted to show off the great work that our youth, staff and volunteers did at The Dam last month. In collaboration with the Drew Hildebrand Teen Benefit Fund we were able to run a graffiti art program and our youth came up with some amazing pieces of art that will soon be hanging on the walls of our Meadowvale space.
It can be very refreshing to stumble upon a story of someone who is really living out a crazy type of rebellion. This was certainly the case for me when I had the chance to read about Fatemah Golmakani, who immigrated to London, England from Iran 18 years ago. I want to stress that this is a CRAZY STORY! It’s not cute, or sweet and does not belong as some side column buried on the back pages. This is the type of radical love that SHAKES THE FOUNDATIONS and PULLS UP THE ROOTS of the selfishness which typically consumes our every day choices and decisions.
I was introduced to these three stories today; three stories that can be very disheartening. Each one speaks to the difficultly of being a True Rebel voice as a young student.
Our youth mentors at The Dam are an incredible group of people. I am so blessed to be able to work with them every week, they inspire me with their compassion, empathy and living out Mother Teresa's words, "I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only love." It is a group of true rebels who are motivated by love!
Tonight we are having a Christmas party at our Meadowvale drop-in. This will be my ninth Youth Christmas Party in Meadowvale and I love them all. I have many memories of youth erecting amazing gingerbread houses, playing games, singing karaoke, competing in Christmas trivia or Christmas twister. For all the fun and laughter and the great Christmas dinners and dramas, one memory always stands out for me above the rest.